Cancer victim's bike to be sold to raise funds for Gazette's Driving Hospice Care campaign

Cancer victim's bike to be sold to raise funds for Gazette's Driving Hospice Care campaign

Audrey Lee Cook with a picture of her husband Michael

Cancer victim's bike to be sold to raise funds for Gazette's Driving Hospice Care campaign

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE ‘pride and joy’ motorbike which belonged to a Heversham cancer victim is to be sold to raise funds for Driving Hospice Care.

Michael Lee, who died in August, will have one of his final wishes granted by wife, Audrey Lee Cook, when she sells his beloved Honda Deauville to help buy 4x4s for St John’s Hospice nurses.

“I told him before he died that the hospice was run on donations and that’s when we started talking about how we could help,” explained the Parkhouse Drive resident.

“Together we came up with the idea of selling his bike after his death.

“We’d even commented on the fact the nurses’ cars are so old, so when I saw the Gazette campaign I just felt it was perfect timing.”

The campaign was set up at the beginning of September to raise £36,800 to buy a pair of Kia Sportages for the Hospice at Home nurses, who battle extreme weather and terrains in South Lakeland, north Lancashire and North Yorkshire to care for patients in the final stages of life.

The 12-strong team make 5,000 home visits a year to patients with terminal illness who have opted to die or be treated in their own homes.

But they only have access to a fleet of old, unreliable cars - the ‘best’ of which is 12-years-old. Nurses have broken down several times in bad weather and have been forced to climb out of windows or even ask patients’ families to help them push the cars.

Mrs Lee said: “I’ll forever be in the debt of the nurses from the hospice because they were amazing, and I know Mike felt the same. I hope the sale of bike will really boost the fund.”

Mr Lee, an electronics engineer at Heysham Power Station, was diagnosed with a tumour on his right kidney last summer.

His wife, who works as a nurse at Westmorland General Hospital, Kendal, carried out the bulk of his care over the following months, but relied on support from the Hospice at Home team to support her and to give her a break.

Mr Lee was moved to the hospice, in north Lancashire, where he died in August aged 53. “His bikes were his pride and joy and he’d be delighted to think the money from selling one helped such a worthy cause,” added Ms Lee Cook.

To donate to the Westmorland Gazette’s Driving Hospice Care campaign send cheques made payable to Driving Hospice Care to Anna Clarke, The Westmorland Gazette, 1 Wainwright’s Yard, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4DP.

Cheques should be marked on the back ‘Driving Hospice Care’.

Please include your name, full postal address, telephone number and email address.

Donations can also be made online by going to www.sjhospice.org.uk/drivinghospice care or by texting CARS36 followed by the amount you would like to donate to 70070, for example CARS36 £5 to 70070.

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