When Marion Pape sees Hike for Hospice as a way to relieve her feelings of dread.
Pape’s husband Manfred was diagnosed with colon cancer in the fall of 2011, and within weeks the cancer spread to his rectum, liver, kidneys and beyond. Manfred was living out his final weeks in Victoria Hospice with his wife by his side.
The couple knew the inevitable was slowly creeping up on them, when they learned about Hike for Hospice, an annual fundraiser for Victoria Hospice and celebration of loved ones. Though Manfred was too weak to join the hike, they both agreed it was a cause worth supporting. The day of the race, many of Manfred’s family and friends showed up in his honour.
“Intitially, we used the opportunity as a way to relieve our feelings of dread,” Marion said. “The beautiful side effect was that it actually brought joy and laughter to Manfred. It raised his spirits to see how many people loved him and came to hike in his honour.”
Manfred died a few weeks later, but his memory lives on through Marion, who walks in the sixth annual Hike for Hospice this weekend. She’s not alone, as organizers expect to see more than 300 participants this year.
This year, organizers hope to raise $40,000 – funds which provide care, support and pain and symptom management for patients nearing end of life, as well as bereavement support and grief counselling for families.
Hike for Hospice is Sunday, May 7 at Fisherman’s Wharf Park, beginning at 10 a.m. Participants hike the 3.5 k loop from the Inner Harbour to the ocean and back again. Visit victoriahospice.org for more information.