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A cancer survivor who received “incredible” care from Ashgate Hospice during her illness has praised the charity’s inclusive and welcoming nature.
Doctors told fundraising volunteer Faye Jowle she had stage three cervical cancer in March 2021 after months of feeling unwell.
The 36-year-old, from Dronfield, feared the worst and went through months of gruelling chemo and radiotherapy.
As she underwent the extensive treatment, Faye was referred to the hospice in Chesterfield, where she accessed acupuncture, counselling, financial advice and other services.
The mother-of-one said: “Ashgate Hospice has done everything for me, and I’ll forever be grateful to them for helping me.
“I was diagnosed and received my treatment alone because of the pandemic, so it was such a scary time for me, but knowing the hospice was there for me was amazing.
“Since going through the hardest times ever – I can honestly say without the help of Ashgate Hospice I don’t think I would be here.
“They got me through it all and I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.”
Faye, who is gay, says she had been treated differently in healthcare settings in the past because of her sexuality, but being welcomed with open arms by the hospice “was so special” for her.
She is sharing her story ahead of Chesterfield Pride on 23rd July and says she’s looking forward to representing the hospice at the popular event in the town.
“All the staff and volunteers at the hospice have been amazing with me and my family and there’s been no judgment about my sexuality,” she added.
“The nurses were so inclusive. I often visit the hospice with my partner and our son and we all feel part of the family.
“The hospice is just one big family, it doesn’t matter what race, sex or gender you are, they’ll accept you – it makes you feel so proud.
“I’m looking forward to representing the organisation at Chesterfield Pride as they both hold a special place in my heart.”
Now in remission, Faye’s cancer has left her unable to walk unaided and made everyday tasks much more difficult.
But to give something back, she started volunteering within the hospice’s fundraising team, where she helps organise events and takes part in fundraisers.
With her crutches helping her along the way, she even completed the hospice’s Sparkle Night Walk solo in 2021 – an achievement she is rightly proud of.
Faye added: “I’ve finished my treatment and I’m in remission now, so I thought I’d start volunteering in the fundraising team to give back to Ashgate for the love and care they’ve given and continue to give me.
“Volunteering has helped me so much mentally as I’ve been in a bit of a bad place since the cancer.
“Being at the fundraising hub with the team helps take my mind off things and focus on raising vital funds for the hospice.
“I love volunteering and would urge anyone who’s planning to go to Chesterfield Pride to visit our stall and come and chat about helping out yourself!”
Ashgate will be attending Chesterfield Pride to raise awareness about how its care and job opportunities are there for everyone in North Derbyshire – and how it is working hard to make sure everyone feels welcomed and supported.