Making midnight memories for mum

Walking our Midnight Walk in memory of mum

“At what was the most difficult and heartbreaking time of my life, St Luke’s were my guardian angels and I will forever be grateful to them.”

Sam Barker, Headteacher at Leigham Primary School, will be one of the hundreds of pink-clad walkers taking part in our Midnight Walk on Friday.

Sam’s mum Susan Pollard was cared for by St Luke’s after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma back in 2010. Susan had seen firsthand the care and support St Luke’s delivers as she worked as shop manager at our shop in the Ridgeway, Plympton for many years.

Proud to say she worked for St Luke’s

“She was passionate about supporting a charity which was so close to our hearts after they cared for both her cousin and my grandad many years ago,” describes Sam. “She loved her job and was so proud to say that she worked for St Luke’s.”

At the time of her mum’s diagnosis, Sam had just given birth to her son Lucas. She recounts what her mum said at the time. “She was told that she’d have 7 years but was determined to see him start secondary school. Mum’s positivity and resilience in the face of such an awful illness was inspirational and because of a bone marrow transplant and subsequent treatments, she proudly saw my son Lucas start at Devonport High in 2021. Sadly, we were told in the summer of 2021 that the cancer was not responding to any of the latest treatment and that she didn’t have long left.

St Luke’s were my guardian angels

“Irene, one of St Luke’s community nurses was an angel to us and enabled Mum to stay at home in her final months. While I cared for my mum, I was devastated to find out that Dad (who lived in France) was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. I couldn’t leave Mum alone to get to him in France. Irene was an incredible support to both Mum and me and the St Luke’s team worked with us to keep Mum comfortable at home until the inevitable time came. I lost my beloved Mum on 22 December 2021 and my lovely Dad passed away in France, four days after her funeral.

“At what was the most difficult and heartbreaking time of my life, St Luke’s were my guardian angels and I will forever be grateful to them.”

Compassionate Friends

Going through grief herself prompted Sam to ensure that appropriate support was in place for any pupils at her school going through something similar.

At Leigham Primary School they have now trained many of the staff to be a Compassionate Friend, who are able to support children who are bereaved or are going through anticipatory grief. Sam adds: “I know that our Starfish Club and the support from trained staff to families has made a real difference. It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about.”

Like many others Sam will be giving her passion a purpose on Friday, setting an example to her pupils and celebrating memories of her mum as she takes part in our Midnight Walk.

Tickets for our Midnight Walk, sponsored by Michael Spiers are now sold out. If you are already registered make sure to set up your JustGiving page and see what a difference you can make.

Related articles

, ,

BLOG: Steve and Bute’s priceless trip down memory lane

An impromptu taxi tour to places that hold special childhood memories was exactly the nostalgia trip St Luke’s patient Steve Wright wanted after weeks of feeling too weak and cautious to leave the house. Spending time in the sunshine on the waterfront at Devonport, showing his wife, Bute, the places he loved when he was a little boy made him feel “like I’d won the lottery”.
, ,

BLOG: Making midnight memories for mum

“At what was the most difficult and heartbreaking time of my life, St Luke's were my guardian angels and I will forever be grateful to them.” Sam Barker, Headteacher at Leigham Primary School, will be one of the hundreds of pink-clad walkers taking part in our Midnight Walk on Friday.
, ,

BLOG: Shining a light on Lee’s memory at our Midnight Walk

“St Luke’s took the reins we didn't know how to steer and guided us with gentle hands right through to the very end.” Like many of the walkers taking part in our Midnight Walk on Friday, Danielle Craig, a Learning Support Practitioner at Duchy College, will be taking on the walk in memory of someone special, her late husband Lee.
, ,

BLOG: Making a loving mum’s last wish come true

It was Lynette Ball’s dearest wish to witness her son, Stuart, marry his partner, Amy. But with a terminal diagnosis and Lynette’s health deteriorating rapidly, time was running short. That’s when the St Luke’s nursing team caring for the 60-year-old mother and grandmother at her home on Plymouth’s Barbican pulled out all the stops to make her dream come true.
, , ,

BLOG: Ray’s windswept 1,000-mile quest for Toby

Halfway up a wild and wet Mount Snowdon, George Fletcher felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around to find a little girl aged around seven or eight waiting to hand him a £10 note. She wasn’t the first or last to approach the 85-year-old from Ivybridge as he embraced the enormous challenge of climbing the highest mountain in Wales, accompanied by his son Marc, and family friend Mark Buckham, to raise funds for St Luke’s.
, ,

BLOG: Hospice hero celebrates 35 years

As modest as he is kind, Andy Campbell would never describe himself as a ‘hospice hero’, but having reached the milestone of 35 years’ dedicated service with St Luke’s – making him the team’s longest serving current employee - it’s a title that could not be more deserved.
, ,

BLOG: George’s peak performance!

Halfway up a wild and wet Mount Snowdon, George Fletcher felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around to find a little girl aged around seven or eight waiting to hand him a £10 note. She wasn’t the first or last to approach the 85-year-old from Ivybridge as he embraced the enormous challenge of climbing the highest mountain in Wales, accompanied by his son Marc, and family friend Mark Buckham, to raise funds for St Luke’s.
, ,

BLOG: National Volunteers’ Week 2024 – celebrating the volunteers keeping St Luke’s services running

Behind the doors of St Luke’s you will find an intricate web of volunteers keeping our charity running. This week is Volunteers’ Week (3-9 June), a chance to celebrate the wonderful team of volunteers that keep the cogs of St Luke’s turning. From working in our fleet of shops, to volunteering at our specialist unit, our volunteers are the backbone of our organisation.
, ,

BLOG: Making miles matter for Dad

“I truly believe that it was the care of St Luke's that gave my dad the chance to meet his grandson and have six precious weeks with him.” For every patient we care for, there are family or loved ones going through the unimaginable. Which is why memory making is so important to us. We want to give our patients the chance to live until they die, making precious memories with loved ones. Jade Moore will be taking part in our Midnight Walk on Friday 12 July in memory of her father, Stuart Moore who died in September last year after being diagnosed with tonsil cancer.