Zoe Barker, 29, of Winscombe, and her dad, Steve Barker, 54, also of Winscombe, have decided to take on a 10,000 ft. skydive to raise funds for Weston Hospicecare this September. Zoe’s mum, Lisa, was cared for by the hospice’s In-Patient Unit team before she died earlier this month.
Although Zoe’s mum and dad are divorced, Zoe said her dad has been very supportive since her mum Lisa was diagnosed with a brain tumour last May.
‘Signing up for a skydive is something my dad and I have always teased each other about doing,’ Zoe said. ‘I saw it being advertised on Facebook and thought now’s the time!’
Zoe’s determination to take on a fundraising challenge in aid of the hospice came from seeing the work that the team at Weston Hospicecare, who stepped in to offer care and support after Lisa had a severe seizure, does. Previously, Lisa was living with and being supported by Zoe.
‘The hospice are amazing with her,’ Zoe said. ‘It was really hard at first not to be her 24-hour carer anymore, but each day, my sister Abbey and I go in to spend time with her. It’s nice to be her daughters again, now we know she’s looked after.’
After struggling with several treatment options, including radiotherapy and surgery, Lisa made the decision to focus on making the most of the time she had left, a decision that Zoe called ‘brave’.
‘We’ve enjoyed making amazing memories as a family, including a cruise and lovely Christmas,’ Zoe said. ‘We also arranged a get-together for her 50th birthday in February, and we’ve also organised a family fun day, where we raised more than £2,500 together for Brain Tumour Research. My sister Abbey is expecting her second child, due in August, and we know it will be extremely unlikely that Mum will get to meet him, which is sad to think about.’
However, Zoe is keen to highlight the importance the hospice has played in her Mum’s care, which has made her determined to raise funds for the hospice.
‘If it weren’t for this charity and the facilities they have, I’m pretty sure that Mum would require a nursing home at this stage, which at the age of 50 would be an awful decision for us to consider,’ Zoe said. ‘They are amazing, kind and brilliant at caring for people and families at such emotional, hard times in life. By making her feel so comfortable and settled for her last weeks and days, the hospice has made me feel so much better, too. I just want to do as much as I can to make her proud, and raising money for the hospice will definitely be something that does that.’
To find out more about Zoe and Steve’s skydive, or to make a donation, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Zoe-Barker4.
Please note: A version of this article was published in the Weston Mercury on 18th May, shortly after Zoe’s mum Lisa died. To read it, please click here.