July 05
Published on: May 11, 2014 | Last Updated: May 11, 2014 4:47 PM EDT
Outfitted in lime green shirts that read ‘we love you to the moon and back,’ more than 50 family members and friends joined together Saturday to remember Patricia Lemmon in the 18th annual LifeWalk for Hospice.
Lemmon lost her life just over a year ago at the age of 55 following a two-year battle with lung cancer, making the five-kilometre fundraising walk along the Ganatchio Trail emotional for her husband.
“I’m thinking about my wife today and the whole journey we travelled,” said Don Lemmon. “I’m at the end of my emotions right now with all the support for her here today. I’m close to breaking down.
“We are here in spirit for her and because Hospice was so fantastic for us.”
The Lemmon family was able to keep Patricia home during her fight with cancer, largely with the assistance of programs and services offered by Hospice of Windsor and Essex County, he said.
Don pointed to counselling made available for both he and his wife during her illness and grief counselling after her loss as being especially noteworthy.
“It meant everything to me,” Don said. “(Hospice) made the whole journey so much easier for me and my wife. They were absolutely excellent – even after her death.”
A few hundred walkers took part in the event described by Hospice Executive Director Carol Derbyshire as a “day for remembrance and celebration” for the loss of loved ones.
“This is a wonderful event for us,” she said. “It’s a day to remember those who have passed, a chance for families to come out and get together to pay tribute to them.”
Hospice will soon unveil a Share the Journey program – a family support program in Lemmon’s honour.
The biggest upcoming project for the palliative care support organization – now in its 35th year in Windsor – is construction of new 10-bed residential home in Leamington.
“We have a kick off campaign event on June 6 and hope to have it up and running in January of next year, so it’s an ambitious project for us,” Derbyshire said. “It will look very much like the one we have in Windsor, but with a few county touches.”
tags: hospice, hospice of windsor and essex county, lifewalk, patricia lemmon