“Uncle Tom was always very complimentary of the hospice staff and the care they gave him,” explained James Crosthwaite, whose Uncle, Tom Croshwaite, received support at St Elizabeth Hospice until his death aged 64-years-old, in March 2023, from heart failure, after living with incurable cancer diagnosis for 18 months
Annually, St Elizabeth Hospice cares for more than 3,000 patients and their families throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
This care sees the independent Suffolk charity providing free services – whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice – to those living with a progressive or life-limiting illness.
“My Uncle was born in Bellshill, Scotland, but lived most of his life in Ipswich,” said James. “He was a keen musician at an early age and performed regularly, from his teens right up until the final month of his life.
“He was known as a kind and generous friend to many, with a keen interest in creative crafts. He had many jobs through his life but being a musician was a constant for him.
“Tom first came under the care of St Elizabeth Hospice over the Christmas period in 2022, to help with pain management and to help him feel more comfortable at home. A few months later, in March, he visited the hospice again for pain management and it was during this time that he passed away.
“For a majority of Uncle Tom’s friends and family, this was our first experience of a hospice and the services they provide, but the warmth, professionalism and compassion St Elizabeth Hospice provided, during a time of great uncertainty, was greatly appreciated by us all, especially at the time of Tom’s passing, just 12 days shy of his 65th birthday.”
He added: “I was very apprehensive about the run, as I’ve never competed in any run like this before. The furthest I’ve ever ran was 8 miles so to do the extra 5 miles and a bit was massive for me.
“There were times during the run I thought there was no way I could finish but I just pushed on and I’m happy with my time coming in under 3 hours!
“Raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice was great, I know they looked after Uncle Tom for a wee while before his death. Before he died he asked for a birthday wish for donations to the charity, but he died 12 days before his birthday, so I thought the Great North Run would be a brilliant opportunity for me to do something I’ve always wanted to do and raise funds for the hospice.
“Without the donations I probably wouldn’t have done the race so thank you to everyone who donated and the well wishes they gave me for the race. I hope the funds raised will help other patients and their families receive support from the brilliant hospice team.”