ELEVEN family members who have raised nearly £7,000 for St Luke's Hospice are urging others to generate cash to support the “sensitive and caring” service the charity provides.
Several generations of the Raghwani, Vekaria and Patel families from Kenton and Edgware wore customised pink T-shirts during the nine-mile annual Midnight Walk around Harrow in memory of grandmother Kasturben Karsan Vekaria, who died of a brain tumour aged 62 in September 2010, just four months after diagnosis.
Granddaughter Sunayna Raghwani, 11, of Elmsleigh Avenue, Kenton, said: “Nani spent a while in hospital and then luckily spent a month at home. We were really glad to have this time to spend with her. I would normally sit there with her and help my mum and my aunts and uncle do anything for her.
“We were very lucky to have St Luke's Hospice help us when Nani came home. The carers were very supportive and they gave a very professional and caring service and were always at hand to help Nani and our family, by giving advice and support and generally being sensitive and caring.”
The Priestmead Primary School in Hartford Avenue, Kenton, pupil, whose sister Nikita, 10, was the youngest finisher at Midnight Walk on Saturday June 18, said: “Nani was always raising money for worthy causes - she did a walk from Kenton Mandir for the hospice - and we all felt we should carry on in her name.
“We aim to do the midnight walk every year in memory of my Nani and to help make sure that St Luke's can continue to help others like they helped us.”
The late Mrs Vekaria had actually urged her family to participate in last year's Midnight Walk but her falling ill prevented them from doing so, a fact that made her 11 descendants even more determined this year and so far they have raised £6,975.
Sunayna's aunt Bala Vekaria, 33, of Kenton Road, Kenton, said: “Many people rely hugely on support from St Luke's Hospice and donations are needed so that St Luke's Hospice can continue to provide the high level of invaluable support and care to all those who need it. The last month of mum's life was very difficult for all of us and the support and advice we got from them helped us through a tough time.”
St Luke's Hospice aims to raise £250,000 over the next 11 months – the equivalent to 10 extra nurses - to expand its Hospice At Home service to allow more people to die comfortably, and with dignity and as little pain as possible, in their home.
The Observer is asking readers to help find £25,000 of that total through our Showing We Care campaign.