Kerry Smyth, from Solihull, is joining our team of super Santas taking part in the Jingle Bell Jog in memory of her mom, Sheila, who was cared for by Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. She explains why she’s lacing up her trainers this year to support The Hospice Charity Partnership.
“I wanted to take part because Birmingham St Mary’s did an amazing job at looking after my mom and my family through a very difficult time. Mom was there longer than most, and the hospice became our second home.
“We were supported as a family throughout her stay. Even my son Kai, who at the time was only four.
“I also had my daughter Jessie Rose during the time mom was there too and the staff made it so special for my mom to meet her new granddaughter.
“I was able to have time with her, the space to say everything I needed to and also to be with her the whole time.”
“At a time when it was very difficult for my mom to adjust to not being able to see home again, the staff at the hospice got her dancing and she was able to make others laugh as she always had.
“When the time came for my mom to leave us, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice gave us a Family Room so it was again not only comfortable for her last days, it was a special place for me, my children, my dad and my sister. I was able to have time with her, the space to say everything I needed to and also to be with her the whole time.
“The hospices’ care never stopped there. The aftercare for me and my son was also amazing.
“I can honestly say my mom made some really special friends and nothing ever felt like it was a chore or just a job, it always felt like it came from the heart. Thank you.”
Although this is Kerry’s first time taking part in the Jingle Bell Jog, she has previously taken part in other hospice fundraisers, including making a special dedication on our hospice tree as part of Light up a Life.
Kerry and her children will be taking on the festive challenge together to raise funds for The Hospice Charity Partnership, which includes Birmingham St Mary’s and John Taylor Hospices. She hopes that sharing her story as part of Jingle Bell Jog will spread the message about the vital work our hospices do on a daily basis to support local families when they need us most.
Kerry adds: “I hope that completing the jog will raise awareness of the great support and care offered with in the hospice and be lots of fun too. It is great to meet others who have lost loved ones and share memories together. I would encourage others to do the same and help to continue this great care.”
Thank you so much for sharing your story Kerry, and for your ongoing support. If you would like to take part in the Jingle Bell Jog this year, or for more information click here.