Running the race for Hospice

2018-11-28 06:03
Karen Smith with some of the t-shirts and medals she has acquired during races which she has run in honour of her father and to raise funds for Hospice. PHOTO: byrone athman

Karen Smith with some of the t-shirts and medals she has acquired during races which she has run in honour of her father and to raise funds for Hospice. PHOTO: byrone athman

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MEMORIES of a childhood spent with her sister and father at a stream near their home in England, with jam-jars in hand hoping to catch a fish while being surrounded by dragonflies, rush to mind for Hilton’s Karen Smith every time she embarks on a race in memory of her late father.

Since losing her father to colon cancer, Smith has embarked on a journey to raise funds for Hospice, who were instrumental in helping her father ease into his path.

“On the Tuesday when he had a few seizures and we had to take him to casualty, I kept coming across dragonflies and so did my sister,” marveled Smith, who added that on the night before her father’s passing a pearl from her dragonfly pendant fell off and that is when she knew her father would not be around anymore.

Smith said that when her father first found out about his cancer he was very scared, but thanks to Hospice, he was able to come to terms with his impending passing and, at the end, he was ready to face the afterlife.

“He was, at first, very against going to Hospice because he did not want to accept that he was living on borrowed time, but eventually they were able to help him and raise his spirits,” said Smith, who told the Maritzburg Fever that her father’s wish was for her to give back to Hospice for all they had done for him and his family.

Ever since then, Smith has been walking and running various races in memory of her father to raise funds for Hospice.

She says that every race has been a remarkable one as she has not only seen a dragonfly in every one of the races, but she has also met some incredible figures in her journey and experienced some emotional moments.

Smith says that she began walking and running while her father was still alive to deal with the emotional stress of seeing her father battle with cancer, but now she uses it as a way to honour his memory and donate to a good cause.

“I was reluctant to move on without my dad, but going through these various races, seeing the clouds move as the sun shines down and also seeing the dragonflies in each and every race, makes me think that he is smiling down on me and I will keep that in my heart forever,” said Smith.

As Smith continues to run to raise funds for Hospice in memory of her father, she has urged communities to donate to Hospice so that they can continue the work they do with those who suffer from cancer.

“I encourage people to donate to Hospice and to try and understand the work these people do, especially with the families.

“They took my father from a bad place in which he was at the start and helped his mind become healthy in the end,” said Smith.

Those looking to help Hospice out through donations can do so by depositing any sum of money into the account below.

NAME OF ACCOUNT HOLDER: MSUNDUZI HOSPICE ASSOCIATION

BANK: NEDBANK

ACCOUNT NUMBER: 1340285053.

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