Dan supports Light up a Life in memory of his best friend and wife Sam
When Sam Holland was diagnosed with cancer at just 50 years old, it was a huge shock. As a PE teacher for 28 years and avid exerciser, her fitness had always been important to her. For Sam and Dan, her husband, this made the diagnosis hard to take in.
At the beginning of this year, Sam noticed that her running times were getting slower and she was feeling tired. As the weeks went by, she went from exercising two times a day to struggling to walk up a hill without stopping to catch her breath. She went to see her GP who did several tests which uncovered a kidney stone. A further scan at hospital unfortunately revealed that she had a tumour in her lung which had already spread to her liver, spine and pelvis.
Shortly after her diagnosis, Sam was admitted to hospital as her condition deteriorated and the cancer spread. An initial dose of chemotherapy was sadly unsuccessful, and her doctor shared the news that she had weeks to live. After this news, Sam was transferred to St Margaret’s Hospice’s In-patient Unit.
“They recognised Sam as a strong, independent and private person, they were hugely respectful of that, allowing Sam to do as much for herself as possible and treated her with care and compassion, always striving to protect her dignity. All the hospice staff were so supportive and explained everything to me as Sam’s condition began to deteriorate.
Sam passed away in July after three weeks at the hospice, Dan has been supported by St Margaret’s Bereavement Team. He created a tribute page on the website in Sam’s memory and has already raised almost £3000 for the hospice. Dan is taking part in St Margaret’s Light Up a Life campaign this autumn and said he would encourage others to take part and dedicate a star in memory of someone.
For so many this time of year can be difficult, and the hospice hopes that by being able to remember a loved one by dedicating a star will help with
individuals’ journeys of grief whether it’s the first year or beyond.
“The care that Sam received was amazing and the staff were incredible,” Dan said. “All I wanted was for her to be comfortable and free of pain and St Margaret’s gave that to Sam. It’s astounding that most of the care Sam received is funded by the community and so I now want to make sure I support them, so they can help more people like Sam.”
“I will be adding a star in Sam’s memory this year and hope others will join me..”