I am reaching out to people in the UK and in the US to help me with a most unique fundraising effort taking place this October. The funds will go directly to the Joseph Weldmar Hospice organization in Dorchester, Dorset UK. This is a charitable organization that provides free hospice care to those in need. Weldmar relies completely on charitable donations and please do take a look at the links to the sites below. This quite challenging fundraiser comprises a 5 day trek in the Himalayas (Nepal) and then 2 days of volunteer work for a hospice in Kathmandu. We start and end our journey there. We are hiking up to 8 miles a day through rugged terrain and staying in Tea houses along the way, primitive, but at least a roof over our heads. Altitudes are to be up to 10,000 feet.
I have been connected with Weldmar since 2008 when I did some volunteer work for them and also took several training courses there. Then in the last two years two very close friends of mine were under their amazing care during their last months. A close nursing and personal friend’s husband, Dryden Pennington, died in their hospice home of pancreatic cancer in January 2017. Prior to that, another very close friend, Dave Phillips, one of the original BBC 1 radio broadcasters, died from a very aggressive lung cancer in November 2016.
Thanks to Weldmar and their wonderful nursing and support staff, in particular the Reverend Sally Bedborough. She and Weldmar were able to make Dave's wishes come true which were to die peacefully at White Hart Lodge, my family home,surrounded by those he loved. His family was made up of artists - his maternal grandmother, Marevna, was the first Russian female cubist artist. His maternal grandfather was the Mexican artist Diego Rivera.
It is a way for me to say thank you to Weldmar for making the last days of these two magnificent gentlemen as comfortable and fear free as possible. To be able to take part in the Nepal journey and spend my birthday there while doing so is definitely going to be one of the best memories I will be able to share with my grandchildren. Thank you for helping me make this journey possible.