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Designer launches Christmas cards for city hospice after mum’s death

Posted on - 4th November, 2017 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, News, People, Walton-le-Dale
Natalie Spencer with her mum Gabrielle
Natalie Spencer with her mum Gabrielle

A Preston designer has put her creative talents to help raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice after the death of her mother.

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Natalie Spencer’s mother Gabrielle passed away aged 56 after a battle with bowel cancer.

She was cared for at the Lostock Hall-based hospice and Natalie has decided to launch a Christmas range of hand-illustrated cards with funds from the cards being donated.

Natalie said: “My mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in early 2015.

“Being the most brave, super woman I’ve ever known, she took on the challenge of intensive chemotherapy to prolong her life. But it came to the point where it was hard for her to be at home because she needed much more care than we could give her.

“She knew she wanted the care of St Catherine’s after our relatives were cared for there, so she asked her district nurse to put it in motion and she was admitted in November last year. I knew that was where she wanted to be and she felt much more comfortable being looked after by the hospice’s amazing team.”

Gabrielle, from Walton-le-Dale, had worked at Blackpool Victoria Infirmary and was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 after several scans.

Read more: Tributes paid to St Catherine’s fundraising legend

Natalie, 27, said: “We were shocked and completely devastated,” Natalie said. “She deteriorated much more quickly than I ever imagined.

“When she went to St Catherine’s, I had mixed feelings because I knew she’d left the family home forever, which was very hard for me, my dad and brother.

“But it’s a wonderful place and the staff were so amazing; mum really loved them. They made us all feel at home and the care was second to none. They were always happy to help and offer a friendly smile which put everyone at ease. They really did put my mum first and provided the care that we couldn’t give her, for which we are forever grateful.”

Gabrielle was very specific in her wish to be cared for at St Catherine's Hospice
Gabrielle was very specific in her wish to be cared for at St Catherine’s Hospice

Gabrielle died nine days after being admitted to the hospice, aged 56.

Natalie, who lives in Buckshaw Village, said: “I miss my mum every day – she was my best friend and I have really struggled with her loss.

“The only thing that makes me feel a little better is knowing that she is no longer in pain and hopefully she is watching over me and I am making her proud.

“I now feel a little stronger to do something to help such an amazing charity which is very close to my heart, which is why I’ve chosen to design Christmas cards to raise funds, so that St Catherine’s can continue to care for people like my wonderful, brave mum.”

Natalie described her mum as being 'more like a best friend'
Natalie described her mum as being ‘more like a best friend’natal

The Christmas cards are available to purchase via the Designed by Natalie website and through her Facebook page Designed by Natty.

Read more: Former Corrie star becomes St Catherine’s patron

Director of community and income at the hospice Lorraine Charlesworth said: “This is a truly heartfelt and meaningful way for Natalie to show her support for St Catherine’s and we’re very grateful to her for using these beautiful Christmas cards to raise awareness and funds for the hospice.

“We’re pleased that the compassionate care of our nurses helped Natalie’s mum and her family at such a difficult time, and allowed them precious time together here at St Catherine’s.

“As a charity, we really couldn’t continue to be there for local families without the amazing generosity of our community, so we’d like to thank Natalie for her wonderful support.”

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