Why the Ellis family are aiming to be champion Night Striders

Sixteen pairs of feet, several sets of paws and a determination to make a difference…that’s what the Ellis family are bringing to Night Strider 2018!

The family – dad Stephen, sons Gary and Stephen and daughters Lynnette and Rachel – are aiming to raise at least £2,000 when they and their friends embark on the popular St Luke’s autumn fundraiser.

And every step they take will be paying tribute to the support wife and mum Gill received at St Luke’s in the final days of her fight against cancer.

When Gill first came to the St Luke’s In Patient Centre at Christmas 2017, she needed support with pain management.

“Mum was very apprehensive about going it at first but it was the best thing she ever did,” says daughter Rachel.

And when it became increasingly clear by spring that Gill needed to return for a longer stay, it made the decision even easier.

“Our Community Nurse David was absolutely brilliant,” says daughter Lynnette. “He came out to us on a Bank Holiday and recognised straight away that she needed to be in St Luke’s.

“Mum felt so comfortable with David because he made her feel very much part of the decision process and he was very much representative of the way that St Luke’s added real quality of life to mum’s final weeks.”

In fact, Gill spent more than a month at St Luke’s always with her family by her side at all times of day and night.

“They were great at listening to our questions and our concerns and everything was centred around the whole family – it was no problem to them at all that we wanted to be with mum every hour of the day.”

That’s why the family – including several of Gill’s 13 grandchildren and even the family pets – are taking part in Night Strider, with a target of around £2,000 that has already been beaten!

“We wanted to do this as a family thing,” says Rachel. “St Luke’s treated mum with dignity and we want to be able to give something back.”

To support Gill’s Heroes at Night Strider simply visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gills-heros