An Inspiration

Anna Irwin

My beautiful sister sadly got diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in April 2016, which devastatingly, was terminal.

Not one to let things drag her down, after much contemplation Anna decided on a series of challenges which she was going to undertake to raise money for several charities close to her heart and to assist with funds for some alternative treatment she wanted to try. Each challenge brought people closer together, they gave us all something to focus on and look forward to. Anna raised a phenomenal amount of money for her efforts and towards the end decided to change the sole focus of fundraising to be for of money for her efforts and towards the end decided to change the sole focus of fundraising to be for St. Michael’s Hospice.

As time passed, Anna was undergoing various treatment regimes, the cancer started to progress and Anna needed further support to manage her pain symptoms. This is where St. Michael’s Hospice and all of their wonderful team became a part of Anna’s and all of our lives. From the fabulous community team, the smiling receptionists, the kind, caring Doctors, Nurses, Healthcare Assistants and all of the support staff - nothing was ever too much effort. They were constantly thinking outside the box and doing their best to accommodate all needs. In August last year, during one of Anna’s Hospice admissions, she told the doctors that she wanted to come off her syringe drivers to enable her to go to the Belgian Grand Prix. Although most warned Anna that this wasn’t the wisest thing to do, they went out of their way to make this happen. Not only did the wonderful staff get Anna’s medication just right to control her pain without the syringe drivers, they also made contact with services at the Grand Prix to enable Anna access to the disabled facilities and made the health services aware of Anna’s condition, making it a stress-free weekend which Anna thoroughly enjoyed!

Anna wasn’t one to let this illness get her down and prevent her from doing things. Anna was an adventurer, always seeking new challenges and pushing the boundaries. As a proud member of the RAF working as a crewman on the Chinook helicopters, Anna was constantly making her family and friends full of pride and admiration. She was down to earth and the kindest, loving person. My best friend.

Thank you so much to all at St. Michael’s Hospice for looking after Anna and all of the family throughout this tragic journey and in Anna’s final hours. You will never be forgotten and we will never be able to thank you enough.

Katie Irwin

Everyone at the Hospice would like to add how much we have been touched by the experience of getting to know Anna, her family, friends and colleagues at RAF Odiham. We were very honoured to be able to meet the people involved in Anna’s life when they came along to the Hospice to present us with a cheque totaling over £30,000 as a result of Anna and her team’s efforts on our behalf.

This outstanding amount will make a real difference to people's lives.

If you would like to see this article as it appeared in our InFormation magazine, please click here