Remembering Joe

This year, Karen Riley will be dedicating a light for her son Joe.  Here, she shares her story and tells us why it's so important to remember him.

Joe loved life, and had everything going for him. After studying at University in Sheffield, and then working abroad for 3 years, he was ready to settle down and take on a mortgage for his first house.  
Sadly though, in the summer of 2014, Joe was diagnosed with incurable cancer of the oesophagus which had spread to his liver.  The family were in total shock.  Joe underwent palliative chemotherapy, but sadly by the following summer, Joe's health was deteriorating rapidly, and he was given just four weeks to live.

After one last family holiday together, Joe was admitted to the Hospice. The family were given a room opposite Joe's room, so that they were able to stay with him the whole time. 

"To me, the biggest thing was that from the day he came into the Hospice, he was never in pain, and he was treated with dignity and respect.  That's all I wanted as his Mum.  All of Joe's family and friends were made to feel very welcome, and several of Joe's best friends were able to visit and share a few beers with him, as well as lots of laughter!"

 Joe died peacefully with his Mum and family by his side on 15th July 2015, aged just 27.

"As a family we talk about Joe all the time.  We remember him with laughter and the happy memories. Having the opportunity to remember Joe, while supporting the Hospice who looked after him is really special for us. This Christmas, when I dedicate a light for Joe, I will of course be sad that he is no longer here, but I will remember the great times we shared together and the wonderful memories I have of him" 

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