One of our amazing supporters is fundraising in memory of his mother and this is his story:

Let’s get the emotional stuff out of the way first. I love my mam more than anything. It still hurts, 12 years on, that she can’t be here to share my birthday. However, she would be fuming if I let that get in the way of enjoying myself on 27th March. And so I will. But it just wouldn’t feel right to let my 30th pass without doing something to remember the woman who put me here.

It’s been a bit of an informal tradition to donate to Hospice of the Valleys around my birthday for the past few years. Whether that’s been through a direct donation or supporting others’ fundraising, I’ve tried to give something. There are two reasons I’ve done that.

The first is to thank the Hospice for keeping Mam comfortable at home, surrounded by the family that she made and loved. A moment that is seared onto my mind is when a nurse from the Hospice explained to me that Mam only had a short while left. I can’t remember how I responded or what I said. My stunned brain couldn’t even hold the nurse’s name. I’ve thought about that moment over the years, wondering how she and others in the Hospice do it. Caring for people and comforting their families when they’re going through hell. They deserve all the support we can give them.

The second reason is because of something I saw Mam do many times as I was growing up. Doing her bit to help others. That kindness took many forms. Lending a fiver to tide someone over. Checking in on a new mum to see how she was feeling and getting on. Even racing up Blaina High Street in flip flops to raise money for a good cause. She taught me that we can all do something. It doesn’t need to be big or stretch us beyond our means. Just do something.

So as it’s my 30th, I’m going to do something. And I’m going to ask you to, as well.

Donate what you can spare to Hospice of the Valleys. If you’ve ever needed the Hospice, then you already know why. If you haven’t, then know that you are making a difference and that the best gift on my birthday, on any day, is a little bit of light in the dark.