Charity ride should bring new hospice service in memory of nurse Toni
PUBLISHED: 14:28 13 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:41 14 August 2017
A Suffolk family is preparing for a poignant cycle trip around northern Germany to raise funds for the St Elizabeth Hospice in memory of a much-loved nurse who died earlier this year.
Toni Wright, 44, from Ipswich, died in May six months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
She was born in Germany when her father, Alwyn Nash, was serving in the forces – and spent the first 16 years of her life in that country.
Now Mr Nash, Toni’s widower John – whom she married two months before she died – and her sister Emma Kindred are to take part in a five-day, 250-mile journey visiting places that Toni knew as a child. They will be joined by Mr Nash’s friend Eyal Shtern who is the only experienced cyclist in the team.
They are raising money for the hospice, allowing it to start a new service “Toni’s Treats” for young adults who are too old to use East Anglia’ Children’s Hospice services – but whose families still need respite care.
Mr Nash said they started planning the tour after Toni was diagnosed, and it was initially hoped she might be well enough to have accompanied them to Germany – but it became clear that would not be possible.
So far they have had pledges of nearly £12,000 in donations – beating their initial target of £10,000 – but were still hoping for more support because the total cost of the service they are hoping to fund is likely to be about £35,000 a year.
Toni was a paediatric nurse – and was very keen that something should be done to help children.
Mr Nash said: “It was Toni’s request that she would like her last days to be spent in the hospice because it is somewhere that offers very special care – and it is not somewhere of sadness at all.”
The team is leaving for Germany next Sunday and will set off from near Dortmund on Monday. They will visit places that were special to Toni, including Hamelyn and Hanover – where Toni was born – before finishing at Nienburg which had British Army family quarters.
And that will not be the end of the fundraising – Mr Nash said they are already planning future events and a music evening in Toni’s memory is being planned in December.
The full details of the trip and information about how to donate to the appeal for Toni’s Treats can be found here