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Lisa’s Story

Lisa's daughter Zara shares wonderful memories of her Mum, details of the support she received from St. Michael's and her family's incredible fundraising efforts for our Hospice.

The story of Inge Lise Gee

Our lives will never have the same brightness without our mum but we are forever in awe and grateful for the time we did spend with such a wonderful woman.

Zara Gee

It’s true when they say nothing in life is guaranteed apart from taxes and death…

In October 2018, my brother and his two best friends decided they wanted to raise money for the Hospice. After throwing out a few ideas, they decided on shaving their hair off and growing it for 1 year. Two weeks after this they were in a pub packed with people waiting for the ‘big cut’ to happen, which then resulted with the boys’ eyebrows coming off too!

The Bombshell

Little did we know we would be experiencing the Hospice services first hand very soon after this.

Less than 5 months later, my mum was admitted to St. Michael’s Hospice because 6 weeks before we had been given the bombshell that she had incurable and inoperable pancreatic cancer.

Time seemed to freeze when Mum was given her diagnosis. From mum feeling unwell, to being diagnosed, to being admitted to hospital and then to the Hospice is particularly foggy for us. It was and still is a big blur of ‘why my wife and why our mum….’

Mum was highly ambitious, positive, kind, creative, fun and had the most wicked sense of humour, always having crazy ideas and living life to the fullest. She travelled the world living in many cities, New York, Rome, Geneva to name a few and met my dad in Russia, moving from Denmark to the UK over 38 years ago.

Lisa (as she was known in the UK) was a practice nurse. She cared for the community, was loved by them and always put others before herself. As children our mother always told us, it costs nothing to be kind, the world needs more of it. Words that have always stuck with us.

Being a nurse meant she also knew exactly what lay ahead with this diagnosis. We were terrified, scared and concerned. How could such a good person who was fit and active be given this life sentence? Nothing compares to seeing someone you love in so much pain, it’s traumatic and heart wrenching. We felt helpless faced with this dreadful disease and researched every avenue possible but the cancer was too advanced to reverse.

Hospice Admittance

Mum knew the Hospice was the best place for her as they were very focused on pain control and quality of life, which were the most important things to her. Lisa was always the one caring for us when we were poorly, giving us solutions to problems. Now tables had turned and it was our turn to care for her; we couldn’t make her better but we could make sure that she laughed every day.

As soon as Mum was admitted to the Hospice she felt comfortable. The staff were a fantastic support, kind, respectful and considerate. They made such a heartbreaking time as warm and calm as possible. We were truly humbled by the care, compassion, dignity and grace they provided.

Lisa on a boat in Canada

We knew what the inevitable was, as much as denial was there we had to face it. Mum had come to terms with what was happening although she didn’t like it; she was scared but she was a realist. We knew we had to make the most of every minute we could spend together. These were the hardest weeks of our lives but were filled with great laughs and part of that was down to the staff at the Hospice making life easier for us, becoming a second family. Lisa had great banter with the nurses. They loved her warm, funny personality and the room would always be full of people as we talked, sung, laughed and cried.

When Mum passed away it was calm, peaceful and natural. We know that is how she wanted it and we thank the Hospice for this. The sky gained a bright star when my dad’s beautiful doting wife and our amazing, incredible mother passed. She was our best friend, our rock, our strength. We live on in her memory and strive to be like her. She was a wonderful character and had a massive impact on people’s lives, just as the Hospice has had on ours.

Everyone has a story

Everyone has a story. It costs nothing to be kind, considerate and caring; the Hospice proved what my mum had always told us. They gave us the most touching support and that will stay with us forever. These thoughtful facilities and services made the time easier on both a practical and emotional level but would be nothing without the staff. One of the biggest things was the time they gave to our mum and to us to make sense of what was happening, which was so important.

‘C’’est la vie’, that’s life, was one of my mums most used phrases. Sometimes things are out of our control and whilst we might not like it we must try and accept them and try to make a positive from a very bad situation… our way of doing this is helping the Hospice.

A few friends and I took part in Moonlight Walk, to raise awareness and funds for the Hospice. This was an event my mum always took part in and ‘Team Mumma G’ did amazing! Well done girls!

It’s been a hot summer of long itchy hair for the three boys and their ‘no haircut’ challenge but they didn’t give up because they were doing it for a fantastic cause. Mum was so proud of her son and his friends for doing this, even if she did take the mickey out of their ‘new look’ and tried to encourage sparkly hair accessories.

Seb, Zak and Neil’s haircut challenge finished mid-October and they have dedicated it in memory of Lisa. Families and friends of the boys are so proud. So much awareness was raised for the Hospice, which is what they set out to achieve, and of course they raised a phenomenal amount for the Hospice! Well
done boys!

Our lives will never have the same brightness without our mum but we are forever in awe and grateful for the time we did spend with such a wonderful woman.

The Hospice staff are truly angels that walk amongst us. We are forever grateful for everything they did for our mum and for us.

A big thank you from the Gee family xx

Zara Gee