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“Mum was the life and soul of the party – she would have loved the Solstice Walk”

A woman who lost her mother to cancer is calling on people in Lichfield and Burntwood to take part in a fundraising event for the hospice that cared for her.

The 2018 St Giles Hospice Solstice Walk takes place on June 16 and will see women from across the region taking part in the night-time event.

Among them will be Rachel McLarney, who lost her mother Lesley aged just 56.

Rachel McLarney with her mother Lesley

Rachel McLarney with her mother Lesley

The legal secretary had lived with lung cancer for a year before needing the support of St Giles Hospice.

And the walk have extra meaning as it takes place just days before what would have been Lesley’s 60th birthday.

“Mum was the life and soul of the party, so positive and outgoing, and she would have loved the Solstice Walk,” Rachel said. “She was the mum everyone wants – so caring and loving – and my dad, my brothers and sisters and I miss her every day.

“When the cancer progressed mum spent two weeks at St Giles to help her manage her pain, get her symptoms under control and make sure her medication was right, which really helped. She wanted to be at home when she died and the Hospice at Home team supported us all as a family in her final days so she could be where she wanted to be – home with her family where she was happiest.

“It was really shocking to lose her at 56, it really felt like it was far too young, so it helped being able to access bereavement support from the hospice too. This gave me the tools to cope with my loss.”

The Solstice Walk

The Solstice Walk

Rachel said she was looking forward to taking part in the Solstice Walk around the city.

“I’ve always thought it would be a great event to get involved with because it always looked like such a fun way to support the hospice,” she said. “I’d said to a family friend ‘we must do it’ and it’s great to be involved, talking about how the hospice team supported mum and actually doing the walk.

“We’re looking forward to a really fun night raising money and awareness for such a wonderful cause.”

The ladies-only event starts and ends at Friary Grange Leisure Centre and is the charity’s single biggest fundraising event of the year.

The evening will begin with a Solstice Sunset Party from 7.30pm, before the walk itself at 10pm.

Zoe Westwood, fundraising events manager at St Giles Hospice, said: “The Solstice Walk is an absolutely fantastic event – it’s a great night out in aid of a great cause and is always very emotional for everyone involved.”

For more details about the event or to register can call 01543 432538 or visit

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1 Comment

  1. Darryl Godden

    24th May, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Why is it ladies only when cancer doesn’t discriminate?