Spring Appeal 2023
- Little Stars Appeal
- Jingle Run 2022
- Dog Sledding Challenge
- Yorkshire 3 Peaks At Night Challenge
- Snowden Triple Challenge
- West Highland Way Challenge
- Lake District Triple Challenge
- Isle of Skye Challenge
- Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge
- Abseil: Belfast Castle 14th May
- Trek to Petra
- Trek the accursed Albanian Alps
- London to Paris Bike Ride
- Icelandic Lava Trek Challenge
- Mount Toubkal Trek Challenge
- National Three Peaks
- London Royal Parks Challenge
- National Three Peaks Challenge
- Welsh 3000's Challenge
- Kilimanjaro Summit Climb - Lemosho Route Challenge
- 24 Peaks Challenge
- Lava Trek - Iceland
- Giant's Causeway Challenge
- Lake District - 5 Peaks Challenge
- Snowdon Triple Challenge
- London 10 Peaks Challenge
- Snowdon at Night Challenge
- Abseil: Belfast Castle 3rd September
- Lava Trek Challenge - Iceland
- Hadrian's Wall Trail Challenge
- Sumatra Jungle Challenge
- Abseil: Europa Hotel 10th September
- Morocco, Mount Toubkal Trek
- Zambezi River Challenge
- Trek to Machu Picchu
- Trek the accursed Albanian Alps Challenge
- Abseil: Belfast Castle 1st October
- National Three Peaks Challenge - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon
- National Three Peaks - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon (1)
- Trek to Machu Picchu Challenge
- Ben Nevis at Night
- Abseil: Europa Hotel 8th October
- Kilimanjaro Summit Challenge
- Snowdon at Night Trek
- Great Wall Discovery
- Saigon to Angkor Wat Bike Ride
- Everest Basecamp
- Yorkshire 3 Peaks at Night
- Trek Machu Picchu
- Trek Angkor Wat
- The Edinburgh 7 Summits Challenge
- The Cuban Revolution Cycle
- The Dalai Lama Himalayan Trek
- London Royal Parks Challenge (1)
- Abseil: Belfast Castle, Twilight Abseil 16th November
- Abseil: Belfast Castle, Santa Abseil, 10th December
- Icelandic Lava Trek
- New Year Raffle 2023
- Make a Will in 2023
- Register your Solicitors Firm
- Lagan Towpath Hospice Walk
- Mount Toubkal Trek
- National Three Peaks - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon (England, Scotland & Wales)
- Sahara Desert Trek
- Trek to Petra Challenge
- Saigon to Angkor Wat Bike Ride Challenge
- London 10 Peaks Walking Challenge
- Cycle Sri Lanka
- Amazon Survivor Challenge
- Winter Mount Toubkal Trek Challenge
- Sahara Desert Trek Challenge
- Cycle India and the Taj Mahal
- Challenge - Kilimanjaro Summit
- Dog Sledding Challenge 2024
- Cycle India and the Taj Mahal Challenge
- Trek Angkor Wat Challenge
- Saigon to Angkor Wat Bike Challenge
- Sahara Desert Challenge
- Everest Basecamp Challenge
- The Dalai Lama Himalayan Challenge
- The Sumatra Jungle Challenge
- Trek to Petra, Jordan Challenge
- Petra Trek Challenge
- Machu Picchu Challenge Trek
- Mount Toubkal Moroccan Trek
- Trek the accursed Albanian Alps Challenge 2024
- Lava Trek Challenge - Iceland 2024
- Mount Toubkal Moroccan Trek 2024
- Kilimanjaro Summit Challenge 2024
- Icelandic Lava Trek - 2024
- Icelandic Lava Trek Challenge - 2024
- Sumatra Jungle Challenge (1)
- The Mount Toubkal Moroccan Trek
- The Zambezi River Challenge
- The accursed Albanian Alps Challenge 2024
- The Amazon Survivor Challenge
- Basecamp Everest Challenge
- The Machu Picchu Challenge Trek
- The Machu Picchu Challenge
- The Kilimanjaro Summit Challenge 2024
- The Machu Picchu Challenge (1)
- Trek Angkor Wat Challenge 2024
- Saigon to Angkor Wat Bike Challenge 2024
- Basecamp - Everest Challenge 2024
- The Cuban Revolution Cycle 2024
- The Dalai Lama Himalayan Challenge 2024
- The Sahara Desert Challenge 2024
- Challenge Petra Trek 2024
- The Cycle Saigon to Angkor Wat 2024
- Cycle India and the Taj Mahal (1)
- The Sahara Desert Trek 2024
- The Winter Mount Toubkal Trek Challenge
- Abseil Challenges 2023
- Abseil FAQ'S
- Belfast City Half Marathon 2023
- Woodburn Reservoir Hospice Walk
- Hospice Celebration Walks 2023
- Participating Solicitors
- Dragon Boat Race 2023 (Business)
- Dragon Boat Race 2023 (Everyone welcome!)
- Dragon Boat Race 2023
- DIY Hospice Walk
- Bereavement Cafe
- Spring Appeal 2023
- Balmoral Show 2023
- Kindness Counts 2023
Meet Denis McGrath, Denis has volunteered at NI Hospice for 16 years and this year he spoke to us about the support he and his wife Nuala received when she became very ill with cancer.
This is their story. I first met Nuala when she walked into the youth club that I was helping to run, she asked if she could help and that was how it all started for us – I remember it like it just happened yesterday. We started going out and then married, we became teachers and were lucky enough to have three beautiful children.
Nuala was a very charming woman; she was also very kind-hearted, caring and a brilliant teacher. She always had an eye for the child that wasn’t well-off – not just in school when she taught them, but in the local community - if anybody was struggling, she'd always be trying to find a way to help. That’s just the way she was.
The best way I could describe her would be to say she was an extraordinary person, wrapped in a cloak of ordinariness.
She was just an ordinary person, but inside – well, I just thought she was just amazing, and I know I wasn’t the only person who thought it.
We used to take our holidays in Donegal and in France - see she taught Irish at the school, but I taught French, so we’d go between the two. We were on holiday in France one year before school started and she had this cough, it was a bad one, so I said to her, “you’ll need to go see about that before you go back to school.”
It was after Christmas then that we found out it was cancer - Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The doctors and her care team at the time were very positive, they said that it could be treated.
So, my Nuala bravely fought against it, but sadly some things just started to go wrong...
The first thing that went wrong was the chemo - some people get away with it, some people don’t. The chemo attacked her kidneys first, and then her blood vessels became inflamed - vasculitis - and after that, she was put on steroids, but it just went on and on.
She managed, but it was very hard for her - and it was very hard for me and the kids to watch her in pain, but as a family, we managed all that together and kept going.
Nuala was ill on and off - for probably the next 14 years - until she was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. It was around Christmas time when they discovered that she had the
condition - and because of all the other treatments she’d had before and her condition at that point, there was just nothing more they could do.
So, she came home with me.
She lived for about two more years with no further treatments from that point on. I looked after her myself at home at first. I was basically doing everything for her, and she struggled on and on.
She was a very brave lady - very brave - but her condition was getting worse, and I couldn’t do it all on my own.
It was around this time that people started to talk to me about Hospice care. I already knew, because I had been volunteering, just how wonderful the work Hospice does is, but once somebody mentions Hospice, for want of a better word, it can frighten people.
I knew not to be afraid of it though and they came in, they went through everything with her, they got a hospital bed for the house - they were amazing. People don’t realise - the GP says ‘Hospice’ and they think of the building itself, but a lot of Hospice services are out in the community, in people’s homes.
So, we looked after her, me and the Hospice Community Team, at home until July 2020. She was getting worse, and it was one of the nurses, she looked at me one day and I said to her, “she’ll not be here at the end of the month.” And she replied, “no, she won’t.” That’s when I asked about going into Somerton House, the Hospice In-Patient Unit.
Hospice care is a light at the end of a very difficult time, that's basically what it is.
You come in here and the care is there - all sorts of care. You have the ear of the consultants and the doctors. You have nurses and nursing assistants, you have physios and occupational therapists for mobility, and then you have a team of social workers for support for all the family, as well as the chaplains.
You don't have to go looking for people. They're all there. The care and compassion within Hospice is extraordinary. Every single person worked so hard to make me, Nuala and our family as comfortable as possible in those last few days.
She was admitted into Somerton House on a Friday afternoon in July 2020, and she died peacefully, with great dignity under the care of the team that weekend.
She could have died at home in pain, or worse, in the hospital alone because COVID-19 was causing massive problems, but the Hospice was there for us – and I can tell you and anybody in the same sort of situation, it was wonderful that she had that help when she - and all of us actually – needed it most.
As I said, Hospice care is like a light in a very difficult time, and I have the light of the Hospice within me.
The best way of describing it is this - way up on the horizon, there was always that dark black cloud, that didn’t come down on me, because Nuala died in comfort, with us with her and in dignity in.
And that's what Hospice leaves you with. Hospice care leaves you with that light in your life.