Paddling for end of life care – Leigh’s story

Paddling for end of life care is Leigh's story to raise funds for Dorothy House following his support from our Hospice services during his cancer treatment.

Taking part in The Big Avon Paddle

My story for taking part in The Big Avon Paddle goes back to my own cancer diagnosis of Melanoma in 2018.

Support from Dorothy House throughout my cancer treatment

I had three lots of surgery in 2018, the last one being a groin dissection to remove the lymph nodes from my left groin area. It was after this surgery that I was introduced to Dorothy House via all the contact information and leaflets I was given at the hospital. I had regular phone check-ins with a support worker that would check on my wellbeing and listen to any ranting that I needed to get off my chest. I also had some physio at home with a physiotherapist from Dorothy House whilst I was recovering from the surgery.

I subsequently had further spread of my cancer to the Lymph nodes in my chest and more recently in 2021 I had a small brain tumour. I continued to have contact with a Dorothy House support worker while I was recovering from treatments and side effects. This really helped me to air my feelings and frustrations at the time.

I'm now just over 2 years in remission with no active disease and on no active treatment.

Leigh on a paddle board - paddling for end of life care

Paddling for end of life care and to raise awareness for Dorothy House

I find it really important to stay fit and active for my own health and the chance to take part in The Big Avon Paddle was a great way to support Dorothy House, create awareness for the charity and to push myself physically to help inspire others.

I really enjoyed taking part in the Big Avon Paddle in 2023 - it was well organised and a great success and the event has really grown over the last few years. Byron and Emma are really fantastic people that run CK Sup & Paddle.

Thanks again to Dorothy House for organising such a great event, I look forward to taking part in 2024!

Sign up to The Big Avon Paddle

The Big Avon Paddle offers two routes for paddlers to choose from: a 4.5 mile loop from Bath Boathouse downstream to the Avon County Rowing Club and back as well as a new 1.5 mile loop from Bath Boathouse heading upstream towards Weston Lock and back.

Participants can choose to paddle a route or a mix of both routes as many times as you wish in this paced event. It’s a fun Pirate themed event for paddlers of all abilities and ages!

Register your interest to take part in the event here.