A nurse is giving back to the ‘amazing’ charity which ‘opened her eyes’ to how much hospices help people, by taking on the St Catherine’s Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge this September.
Tomoko Lewis has been inspired to support the Lostock Hall hospice by patients and families who ‘always want to give back, even when they’re going through incredibly difficult times’.
Mother-of-two Tomoko, who lives in Bamber Bridge, explained: “You hear so many stories from people who want to support St Catherine’s, and they always seem so positive and determined. They’ve taught me a lot about having a good attitude even when you’re going through a tough time – I find that amazing.
“I want to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge as a way of thanking those patients and families for teaching me these values, and to thank the hospice for caring for people. It also helps remind me not to take anything for granted in life.”
Tomoko initially trained as a social worker in Japan, specialising in supporting homeless people, where she became aware of the importance of end of life care.
It sparked an interest in Britain’s hospice movement, leading her to a work placement at St Catherine’s whilst she was a student with the University of Central Lancashire in 2004.
“My time at St Catherine’s really opened my eyes to what a significant difference hospice care makes to people,” she said. “They became much more comfortable and calm, it was amazing to witness.”
Tomoko went on to become a staff nurse at St Catherine’s in 2010, and continues to work closely with staff at the hospice in her current role as a palliative care Clinical Nurse Specialist at Royal Preston Hospital.
Now, she’s preparing to take on the charity’s first ever sponsored Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge on September 30; hiking 25 miles in one day as she ticks off the three tallest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales – Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent.
The 44-year-old said: “I used to live in the Lake District and did lots of walking then, but I haven’t done anything of this scale before. Over the last few months I’ve started running a few times a week to build up stamina. Next I need to do something about training to walk up the hills, so I will build up to that.
“It’s giving me something to focus on; something to aim for. I feel ready for a new challenge in life.”
Norman Cutler, fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “Our sponsored walks are always very popular with our supporters, and we’ve introduced the Yorkshire Three Peaks this year to offer a more challenging adventure.
“I’m a keen walker myself and I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s one of those feats which a lot of hikers like to achieve at some stage; so what better opportunity to do it than whilst supporting a worthy cause in the process?
“Professional mountain leaders will lead the group, providing navigation and sharing their expert knowledge. We’re also providing return transport from the hospice in Lostock Hall and in between the peaks, leaving supporters to focus on and enjoy the task at hand.”
For more information and to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Norman on 01772 324540.
To sponsor Tomoko, please click here.