Walk tribute to mum

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The daughter of a local nurse, who died in St Michael’s Hospice earlier this year, has pledged to raise thousands of pounds for the charity following the recent fire.

Hannah Hildreth says her mum, Sarah Burnell, who worked at the Buchanan and Conquest hospitals for over 30 years, as a nurse, midwife, and ultrasonographer, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She underwent a year of chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy and initially reacted well to the treatment. But last summer the cancer metastasised and in September Sarah was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and given less than a year to live.

Hannah said: “We set about making the best of her time. We took theatre trips to see big West End shows, and to Disneyland Paris for Christmas. In the New Year, my Mum began to deteriorate and despite palliative radiotherapy, the cancer had spread to another part of her brain. She went into St. Michael’s Hospice in January and she passed away on February 14 with me at her side aged just 52.”

Hannah says the Hospice and their nursing staff were amazing. “Mum had a lovely private room overlooking their beautiful gardens, and she loved how they looked after her so well. They also were an incredible support for me, They made us feel so much better during an absolutely horrendous time.”

Hannah says the fire at the Hospice on July 11 fire, which resulted in the deaths of two people, had a profound effect on her. “People are at their most vulnerable when they’re nearing the end of their lives. I felt I needed to do something to raise some serious funds to help the Hospice rebuild,” she said.

Hannah has pledged to raise £10,000 by November 1, her mum’s birthday and, in her memory, to name the day at the Hospice ‘Sarah Burnell Day’.

Hannah has a number of fundraising events planned including a Pier to Pier (Hastings to Eastbourne) walk on August 22. For further information email: hannahbethwalker@hotmail.co.uk To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/piertopiersarah.