Lorraine shares her hospice journey

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A Scarborough woman who was involved in setting up St Catherine’s Hospice has now become one of its patients.

Lorraine Bryden, who has been battling bone marrow cancer, says she never expected to be one of those using the hospice’s services - but it full of praise for the care she has received.

She explained that in the early 1980s, she was working as PA to Scarborough businessman Leonard H Dale CBE.

Mr Dale was approached by David Fletcher, a surgeon from Gristhorpe, who asked for his help to develop his dream of a hospice in Scarborough.

Lorraine said: “We wrote to almost everyone Mr Dale knew asking for donations, held fundraising events and sold millions of raffle tickets.

“Mr Dale used his builders to work on the original building and we wrote to Buckingham Palace to obtain the services of Princess Margaret to open the original hospice.

“We received cheques from Princess Diana, prominent sports people and show business people that Mr Dale knew.”

Mr Dale, who became president of the hospice, died in 1986 leaving £50,000 to be put into a capital fund.

Lorraine is now keen to let people know about the wonderful services and care that the hospice offers and to emphasise that it is a positive, joyful place.

She said: “St Catherine’s has been my lifeline for the last two years since I came out of hospital with renal failure and my bone marrow cancer rapidly progressing.

“It was thought that I had only weeks to live. I have experienced only happiness and love in the care of St Catherine’s.

“I have used every service available from day care, in-patient, out-patient, complimentary therapy, seeing a counsellor, physiotherapist, occupational therapists, regularly seeing a consultant and my wonderful Macmillan nurse and the Marie Curie nurses who look after the patients needing help in the evenings and weekends.”

Lorraine’s husband David has taken part in a carer’s course and the couple have also enjoyed photography lessons at the hospice.

She said: “I cannot speak highly enough of the care I have received in the loving hands of our St Catherine’s Hospice.

“Nothing is too much trouble. They have given me 25 months that I was not expecting to have, and hopefully many more.”