After each Walk for Love, we receive feedback from families who wanted to let us know how
much they benefitted from coming to the Walk.
Here are some examples from previous Walks.
Many families were truly grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Walk.
For some it was about remembering their loved one; for others, it was about giving back
for the care their loved one received.
If you haven't been to the Walk before, read on - and if you are encouraged by these words
come along and experience Walk for Love yourself.
We would love to see you there.
Treasured memories of Mum
Ashlee honours her Mum’s memory and raises awareness at Walk for Love
Belinda’s arrival at Mary Potter was an unexpected direction and initially a hard reality to face for her daughter Ashlee. But from the fairy lights at the entry, fresh flowers at every turn and beautiful messages of love, hope and faith embedded into artwork along the halls, it wasn’t long before Belinda, Ashlee and their family felt a warmth that only grew throughout their time at the Hospice.
“From the minute she arrived at Mary Potter Hospice, Mum felt safe, happy and in good hands,” says Ashlee.
“She was treated with kindness, compassion, grace and dignity by everyone at Mary Potter. From the nursing team to volunteers and other staff — everyone was gentle, kind and respectful.”
Ashlee and her family treasure the moments shared and memories created during the seven weeks her mum Belinda spent at Mary Potter.
“We celebrated a number of special occasions that were facilitated by the Hospice either for all patients or just for our family.
“Mum got to share special celebrations with her friends over champagne and nibbles. She delighted in Melbourne Cup high tea celebrations and a visit from a horse! And she relished the bedside facials and hand massages that helped her to relax.”
Every Sunday for 15 years, Belinda enjoyed Sunday night dinners with her family and friends, often over a home cooked meal or pizzas.
“One Sunday the social workers arranged for Sunday pizza night to be held at the Hospice. They took care of everything! Arranged the delivery of pizzas, provided drinks and dessert, bubbles for the kids, and themed the night with Italian decorations.
“We were all able to sit out in the courtyard near Mum’s room and enjoy one last Sunday night family dinner all together. Mum wheeled around with the kids on her lap and it was just like old times — this occasion felt like home away from home.”
Christmas was a special time for Belinda and her family, and so we called on the generosity of our donors to give them one last Christmas together.
“On December 5, ten of us celebrated an early Christmas with Mum in a lush, shaded garden hidden away at the back of the Hospice — it was intimate and private,” says Ashlee.
“At this point we knew Mum was in her final days, so to be able to gather as a family for one last time was incredibly emotional and touching. We all had tears, held Mum’s hand and took family photos.
“Mum enjoyed her hot Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, she watched her beloved grandchildren unwrap presents and chase bubbles, and enjoyed being out in the fresh air one last time.”
Ashlee remembers, “This day is now one of my fondest memories and we are so grateful for the Foundation to have made this happen”.
Ashlee and her family left Mary Potter with a heart full of memories and arms full of mementoes that her Mum created while in the Hospice.
“It’s obvious that Mary Potter ensure that each person’s end of life care is specialised and of the highest standard.”
It is you, our kind and generous donors, that make this extra level of care possible. You give people like Belinda and her family the opportunity to spend quality time together and create treasured memories. Thank you.
Walking for love and for her Mum
In 2022, Ashlee participated in her first Walk for Love.
“We had 52 friends and family who walked in ‘Team Bella’ to honour Mum and help raise vital funds to support the Mary Potter Hospice and Foundation.
“It was an incredibly moving event. From opportunities along the way to leave tributes and remembrance frames, to activities for children and professional photographer capturing all the smiles and tears, it was a lovely atmosphere and a great for us to reunite and remember Mum.”
Ashlee says that every last detail made them feel the warmth of the Hospice in the outside world.
This year, Ashlee is returning to the Walk for Love as the Ambassador and calls on others to join her and her family and friends to raise awareness of the Foundation and donate funds to ensure the same level of care for others in the future.
“The Walk for Love is a great opportunity to honour your loved one, surround yourself with other people who have been impacted by the Hospice, and give back to an organisation that is full of generosity.
“Mary Potter Hospice was home for Mum and our family for seven weeks, and now holds a special place in our hearts. I am in debt to the Hospice for the comfort they gave Mum and for their hospitality towards us.”
Walking for Jenny
Following Jenny’s passing in 2020, Anthony and his daughters made the easy decision to take part in the Walk for Love — to walk for Jenny and other loved ones, and to give something back to the place that has given them so much.
“As soon as we heard about the Walk for Love we knew we wanted to be a part of it,” he says. “Jenny would have wanted to be part of it too.”
Almost 30 years earlier, Jenny’s father passed away at Mary Potter Hospice — igniting the family’s interest in supporting the Hospice and everything it offers to families in their care.
“It’s a beautiful way to honour someone you love and keep their memory alive, says Natasha. “It’s a peaceful place, and everyone at the Walk for Love shares a common bond.”
The family has credited the Walk for Love for turning a hard part of their lives into a relaxing and comforting time they could spend with family, celebrating Jenny and all she meant to them.
“It wasn’t all sad,” says Natasha. “We walked, talked, shared happy memories, did activities and laughed a lot. It was healing.”
“This was important not just for us, but for our extended family who never had the opportunity to say goodbye due to the pandemic restrictions. We were able to come together on such a beautiful and peaceful day. We walked around the Mary Potter Hospice and shared memories of Mum’s time there with our family.”
Elise added, “Being part of the Walk for Love was the least we could do to give back to the community and people that gave Mum and us so much.”
This year, Anthony, Natasha and Elise will be joined by even more family and friends at the Walk for Love, as they walk to remember Jenny and everyone who is missed today.
Thank you to everyone who supports the Walk for Love
You gave Jenny and her family a place to be together, a place where they were all cared for and for the special experiences that brought Jenny such great happiness.
Dr Dan’s Story
At every Walk for Love for the past 12 years, a certain young doctor has led team 'Happy Feet' in honour of his father.
Over this time, he's recruited a team of friends and colleagues to join him at the event. They have their own stories of grief and loss. Despite busy schedules, they set this day aside to take part and support Mary Potter.
"Everyone who walks has their own story. We all have a connection because of our shared grief. The Walk for Love means different things to everybody, but I like how we share the same unspoken connection."
Dr Dan's beloved father Cang passed away in Mary Potter Hospice in 2009. Dan was very grateful for the loving care given to Cang while he was in the Hospice.
What really meant the world to the family was how their cultural and spiritual beliefs were respected. As Vietnamese Buddhists, they really appreciated the way the Hospice allowed them to carry out their rituals immediately following Cang's death.
It also didn't escape Dan's notice how much his dad had loved the dessert trolley in the Hospice. This led to the decision for Dan to embrace his love of baking, and as part of his fundraising commitment he set up a tiny stall at his first Walk for Love. Dan's mum used to be a pastry chef and soon joined him in baking for the event the following year.
Every year Dan's vision for his cake stall grows to help him reach his set fundraising target. In 2018 Dan put up a sign on his cake stall saying 'Cang's Cake Stall'. He wanted people to know that this wasn't a commercial business - this was someone honouring the memory of his father by giving back to the Hospice.
"My father worked very hard his whole life and I want to honour that. I want people to know that."
Like father, like son. Dan lives that same work ethic. On the weekend of Walk for Love, Dan starts cooking early on Friday morning, having planned out his baking schedule many weeks in advance and buying all the ingredients himself.
Dan feels a true responsibility for his special stall. "People look forward to it - we generally sell out. If anything is left over, it goes to the Hospice for patients and families."
Dan says he can't imagine Walk for Love without Cang's Cake Stall. Nor can we.
Cathryn’s dedication to the Walk for Love is something to celebrate. She has been with us from the start, participating in the very first Walk for Love in 1987 and continuing every year since with a group of loyal family and friends who are as motivated as she is.
“Together with my family and friends, we prefer to choose a date and do our own walk at a time when we can all get together and share the experience.”
And when you’re on to a good thing, you stick with it.
“We have a regular format. We meet at Calvary Hospital at 10am and walk the same route we have walked for decades. Unless a thunderstorm is threatening (which hasn't happened yet), we are determined to walk rain or shine.”
As a group, they finish their walk at a North Adelaide cafe for lunch and reflect on their contributions to such an important organisation.
“This is where some of our loyal non-walkers meet us and hear about our adventures. It is a time of wonderful togetherness and it brings us all the joy of knowing we are supporting a wonderful cause.”
Lisa has been participating in the walk for close to 20 years — 14 of them in memory of her Mum.
“My first walk was with our church group, we joined to help raise funds and remember those no longer with us. After my Mum died, it became about honouring her and her memory — a time we could reflect on all she meant to us.”
Lisa says there’s plenty of reasons why she participates in the Walk for Love year after year.
“The Walk for Love is one way that I keep Mum’s memory alive. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and share memories of loved ones with those who knew them best.”
“You’re in like company at the Walk for Love — you are with others who have been there already and know what you are going through.”
Giving back is another one of the important reasons that Lisa is walking in 2022.
“The Walk through North Adelaide is beautiful. Enjoying that and raising for funds for the Hospice is so rewarding. The fundraising part is especially important to me — I want to make sure that all patients at the Hospice receive the excellent care that my Mum did.”
It's easy to hide away in your home away from everyone, because that’s just what you feel like doing sometimes. But to get out and do the Walk; it definitely helps. Absolutely. It's amazing."
Gina and Dominic first took part in our Walk for Love in 2015 – just two months after Dominic’s beloved mum Maria died in the Hospice. They decided to come along and walk in her memory that year. By 2016 they were fundraising online to support the Hospice. Dominic’s sister also put together a big team to walk for Maria in 2017. In 2018, Gina and Dominic decided on a team goal of $2000 and a personal goal of $1000. They organised their family and friends to walk with them – not only for Maria, but for other family members who had passed away. “Apart from Dominic’s mum, we have known quite a few others who died at Mary Potter Hospice – family members and friends. So walking to remember them is also important. We get everyone together, including my son and grandkids - and it becomes a family day. My dad isn’t able to walk, so we walk for him too.”