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Walking for Nanna Bel

Nichola Sweet, from Northumberland, is taking part in our Lantern Walk on Saturday 9th July, in memory of her grandmother, Isabel, who she called ‘Nanna Bel’.

Isabel died aged 85 when she was taken in to hospital with pneumonia, and it was then she was also diagnosed with lung cancer. Nichola didn’t get chance to say goodbye to her Nanna Bel, but when she heard about the Lantern Walk she felt it was a fitting way to walk in memory of her and say goodbye.

Nichola said:

Nanna Bel didn't get the chance to use St Oswald’s. She was taken into hospital with pneumonia, and then diagnosed with lung cancer. She died two days after diagnosis. I was pregnant and the time and this happened to be the same day I was taken into the same hospital to be induced, so I didn't get to say goodbye. The birth was complicated and traumatic, and so I was too ill to attend the funeral.

“Because of everything that's happened I’ve been receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and postnatal depression. I'm recovering well, but I’ve struggled with grieving for Nanna Bel as she was a huge part of my life. I was planning on visiting the garden of remembrance to say goodbye and gain closure, but that felt too final and I’ve kept putting it off.

“Part of recovery for me is getting out and about more. I was in a garden centre with my mam and son when I saw a leaflet for the Lantern Walk. I thought it would be a lovely way to honour Nanna by raising money for St Oswald's, as she was a big supporter of cancer charities after her husband died of lung cancer. It will also be my way of saying goodbye and remembering the good times with her closest family. It doesn't feel so final as I intend to take part in the Lantern Walk every year and keep her passion for cancer charities alive.

“Cancer has taken a huge part of my life away at a time that should have been the happiest for me and my family. The Lantern Walk has given us the opportunity to come together and use our grief for something positive.

If you would like to remember someone by joining our Lantern Walk, you can sign up now. Anyone aged 12 years and over can take part, although under 16’s must be accompanied by a registered adult. You can sign up by completing our form on our website or by calling our team on 0191 246 9123 to secure your place. Adult registration costs £16, and registration for walkers aged 12-15 is £10. Registration fee includes a St Oswald’s t shirt, paper lantern and battery operated tea light.