'Superhero' cancer patient all set for hospice Midnight Walk
PUBLISHED: 17:09 11 July 2019
A Clevedon woman diagnosed with stage four breast cancer will not let pain stop her taking part in St Peter's Hospice's Midnight Walk this weekend.
Michelle L'Oste-Brown was diagnosed with the illness in February and is benefitting from the hospice's wealth of expertise.
She has received psychological, nursing and medical expertise since being referred to the hospice.
She said: "People tend to think hospices are all about the end of your life but there's so much more than that."
St Peter's offers home care for referred patients and Michelle will benefit from its Bristol day hospice - including classes and meeting families in a similar situation - later in July.
An inpatients unit, for people whose terminal illness has progressed to an advanced stage, was rebuilt last year.
The support Michelle has received so far exceeded her expectations.
The 48-year-old underwent a double mastectomy four years ago, but she says the cancer remained 'lurking in her bones'.
Michelle found herself in agony in the autumn and tests showed her ribs were fractured. The cancer had weakened her bones so much it was as if she had suffered a trauma.
Medics ran lots of tests to discover what the problem was - to the extent she felt 'relieved' when a diagnosis was made.
But for Michelle, St Peter's is able to devote more time to her than pressurised NHS staff can, providing the best medication and also preparing her home in Claremont Gardens for her needs.
However, her friends went one step further.
In April, when Michelle, her partner Mark Smithers and their 13-year-old son Jack went away for the weekend, dozens of friends transformed their home. New furniture was bought, the walls repainted and the garden spruced, after they raised £4,000.
Michelle said: "It was like I walked into a holiday home.
"I was overwhelmed that so many people had helped."
She is looking forward to taking on the Midnight Walk for St Peter's on Saturday.
Walks of five or 10 miles will begin at 9pm from Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium. People can sign up on the night.
Michelle, in an electric wheelchair, will be pushed most of the way by five superhero-dressed friends - her sister Judith Saunderson, Kate Britton, Erica Taylor, Susie Reeves and Charmaine Cook - as part of Mish's Marvellous Mates.
More than £2,000 has been raised.
Hospice fundraiser, Hayley Ali, said: "We are so grateful to everyone who is supporting the event and helping raise vital funds for the hospice, you can join the fun and sign up on the night."
To donate cash, visit www.justgiving.com