A Peel woman who lost her husband to cancer has raised more than £3,000 for the charity that supported them during his illness.
Simone Heath has been fundraising and promoting Manx Cancer Help over the past eight months, pulling together many different styles of fundraisers and taking part in organised events.
Her husband Kris died aged 36 and she said the support the charity gave the couple during his illness. and to Simone after his death, had been invaluable.
’For as long as I’ve got legs to walk, I’ll keep on raising money and awareness of this charity,’ she said.
She then carried on fundraising by holding cake sales, selling wildflower seeds and even organised a second-hand clothes swap.
Simone explained that Kris was ill when she met him: ’He had a list of medical problems longer than your average child’s Christmas list, so I had always known what I was getting myself into.
’I went to hospital and doctors’ appointments with him, sat by his side when he went for treatment, read up about his conditions so I understood as much as I could.’
Simone learned how to help care for him: ’He was fed via a peg tube in his tummy. I learnt how to hook him up overnight and clean everything so he wasn’t at risk of infections.
’I learnt how to administer his immunoglobulin into his legs via three needles.
She said much harder to deal with was Kris’s and her own anxieties ’When things were good, it was hard to recall how horrible things were when they were bad.
’We just lived for the moment, made memories and enjoyed our lives together.’
She added: ’Kris was absolutely my soul mate, but also my best friend.
’When things were bad, it was horrible. I was terrified of losing him. I was worried about what would happen if he got ill when I wasn’t there.
’I worried about how to help keep his spirits up in the dark times. It sometimes just felt like I was on tenterhooks, not knowing what would happen next.
’Some days I’d get home to find he’d not moved from bed and not eaten. He just felt so rubbish. ’Other days I’d get home to find him doing silly dances in the kitchen making tea for us. It was so hard to know which version of Kris he would be on any given day. I just worried all the time. So if I was worried, I dread to think what was going on in his head.’
She said the support that Manx Cancer Help gave was invaluable.
’What MCH gave me was a safe space to talk to someone who could, and did, over time help me to untangle and make sense of the emotional mess that caring for an ill person creates,’ she said.
’It helped me to put in place practical support to make our lives easier, and to help restore the balance from being a carer for Kris, and helped me to return to being his wife, friend and daft partner in crime on this crazy journey called life.’
She added: ’I can’t comment on how Kris felt about his support. We did not talk about it, but all I know is that I saw my crazy smiley boy gradually returning to his silly self, so it must have helped him too. It’s all I wanted, to have my husband back.’
Simone continued to receive help after Kris’s death’
MCH continued to listen and support me, and helped me to process and cope with my loss,’ she said.
A Manx Cancer Help spokesman paid tribute to Simone’s fundraising efforts, saying: ’Simone’s determination and dedication is admirable and we are so happy that we have touched her heart as much as she has ours.’