Inspiring stories behind charity walk

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Ilkeston woman Emily Conroy was inspired to take part in a charity walk for a hospice which helped her dying grandma.

Emily, 40, a teaching assistant at Chaucer Infant School, took part in the 10k Moonlight Walk in Derby to raise money for Treetops Hospice in Risley, which provides support and end-of-life care.

She took part with 17-year-old daughter Olivia as part of a group of nine. She was keen to take part after her late gran, Ivy Poole, was cared for by the hospice before she died from motor neurone disease (MND).

Emily said: “It’s close to my heart because my grandma died from MND and Treetops cared for her. My mum was indebted to them because they did so much.

“They came in and gave grandma’s feet a massage and mum was taken to reiki as her carer.

“It was a lovely atmosphere at the Moonlight Walk and everyone was lovely.

“It’s good to help any charity but when you see first hand what a charity does it makes it a bit more special.”

Hundreds of women took part in the Moonlight Walk, including Gena Walters, 68, from Stapleford. She took part for the first time this year, despite doctors in 2013 giving her just weeks to live. She has had four heart attacks, two strokes, tuberculosis, both legs amputated and arthritis of the spine.

She said: “But I’m still here and determined to live my life to the full. I want to take every opportunity to enjoy myself.”

Gena has been attending the day care unit at Treetops for eight months, where she enjoys catching up with friends and taking part in activities. She added: “I love coming to Treetops. It’s such a happy place, full of laughter and everyone talks to you. I wish there were more places like it.”