I had to think about how I could sum up my reasons for why I am doing the Bubble Rush as I am not a sporty person at all and to think of Dorothy House brings up very special emotional memories. Memories which are still quite poignant at the moment as we lost our Dad, Derek Chappell, in October last year.
I am participating in the Bubble Rush alongside my two sisters, my daughter and grandsons aged 2 and 4 and my nieces and nephews and their children aged 7and 5. We are doing it to honour the memory of a very special man, Derek, whose birthday would have been on the 25th of June.
To Dad his family was the most important thing to him and he would do anything for any one of us at the drop of a hat without consideration for himself. The cruellest thing about this awful illness for him was that he could no longer do the things to help us all out that he loved doing.
One of Dads dreams was to host an all around the world lunch with his family bringing a platter from different countries. He spent chemo days writing up a list of countries which he put into a draw alongside the names of his daughters and ten grandchildren and their families. Sadly he never got to realise his dream so we are going to have a birthday lunch after the Bubble Rush event with all the family there and realise it for him.
The mention of Dorothy House and hospice care to many people sets fear in their hearts including our family, particularly my Mum and Dad who saw it as the end of the road. I so wish they had realised what an amazing place it is sooner rather than just before the end, because I believe Dad would have had so much more to help him and Mum get through the dark days. Dorothy House provided him with a lovely nurse called Lesley who called regularly and helped Dad get all the best medical support to make him more comfortable.
Dorothy House provides so much more than just somewhere to die. It provides respite care and all sorts of facilities to enhance life and live well.
Dad left us very peacefully on the 18th October 2016 in Dorothy House. The staff there could not have done enough for us all. There was sometimes 33 family there all wanting to be with him. He knew we were all there and it gave us time to be one big family for a final time with ‘Don Chappelli’ the nickname given to him many many years ago because he was the head of our totally devoted family.
Dads legacy lives on. At the end of this year he will have 9 potentially 10 great grandchildren with a couple more on the way next year!