A lasting tribute to loved ones at St Elizabeth Hospice has now raised £65,000.
The Memory Tree was launched at the Hospice two years ago for anyone – not just those touched by Hospice care – to dedicate a decorative leaf or rock in their loved one’s name for one year.
And now people wishing to pay tribute on the memorial can choose to make a dedication for up to five years.
Today the family of Italian, Pietrina Cambio – who was cared for at the Hospice after being diagnosed with stomach cancer – unveiled seven leaves in her memory – and the additions bring the total amount raised from the tree to £65,000.
Her daughter, Lina Kennedy, 47, of Trimley St Mary, said: “My father and all of our family members – and there was lots of us – were made so very welcome at any time of day or night, and shown such loving care by the staff and volunteers, whilst my mum was being cared for at St Elizabeth Hospice.
“Our mum was made so very comfortable and we were able to have some very happy times, including much laughter, and singing songs – it enabled mum to enjoy her last days, as she would have wanted – laughing and joking, never giving into the pain.
“Our mum’s English was limited but the nurses and doctors always spoke to her knowing that she did not always understand, allowing her to decide on her care and keep her dignity and her strong and caring personality.”
Lina and her family wanted to dedicate seven leaves between them to Pietrina on the Memory Tree as a way to say thank you for the care they received and raise money for the charity at the same time.
She said: “We bought seven leaves on the Memory Tree because we felt so privileged that mum benefited from St Elizabeth Hospice’s care. We also know we can go and visit at any time, to remember the good times and the huge support given by the staff.”
Among the relatives who have taken out a dedication with Lina are her dad Giovanni Cambio, her husband Mark, their children Luke and Nicholas and his fiancé Frankie, Lina’s sister Maria Bugg, who lives in Australia with her husband Graham, but made it back to see her mum, their children Joshua and Rossano, Lina’s brother Nicola Cambio, Pietrina’s 92-year-old mum Maria Pisaturo, her sisters Bice Roberts and Clara Bunn and brother Antonio Pisaturo.
Carrie Chipperfield, Tributes and In-Memory Fundraiser, said: “The Memory Tree provides a focus for family and friends who wish to have a memorial opportunity at the Hospice. It is also a fundraising initiative and we are pleased to say it has now raised £65,000 to help us to continue to provide services to our patients and their families free of charge.”
The Hospice is grateful to Suffolk-based family-run business Engraving Village for providing the engraving services for the Memory Tree free of charge.
To find out more about the Memory Tree click here