Wragby family supports hospice light campaign

Jacob, Chris, Reuben and Julie Swift in the Lake District EMN-171127-084529001
Jacob, Chris, Reuben and Julie Swift in the Lake District EMN-171127-084529001

The family of a Wragby firefighter, who died of skin cancer, is joining the St Barnabas Light up a Life campaign to remember him.

Chris Swift died in July 2010, aged 45, just seven months after being diagnosed with melanoma, which spread to his bones and brain.

Now, his son Jacob (24) will join thousands of people across the county in the campaign which remembers loved ones, especially those who have been supported by the hospice.

Jacob said, “We found out that my dad had skin cancer in the winter of 2010, which was a huge shock for the whole family.

“Dad was only ill for a short period of time, but the care we received from St Barnabas helped to make this time as pain free for him as possible.

“We received some amazing help from the hospice, and because they enabled dad to stay at home during his last month, the whole family were able to be with him when he died.

Julie, Jacob’s mum and Chris’s wife, describes Chris as “a big character who was always there for people.”

She said: “St Barnabas really did make all the difference with their support. Chris was able to remain at home where he belonged, and where he felt most comfortable.

“It was nice for the boys to be able to spend time with their dad without the restrictions of visiting times, and felt more natural somehow.”

Jacob now lives in North Wales and works in an outdoor shop.

He added: “My dad has always loved the outdoors, and he was the one who inspired me to go down this career route.

“One of our family traditions is to visit the Lake District and go to the place where my dad’s ashes are scattered.”

Jacob agreed to take part in the St Barnabas Light up a Life campaign to give something back to the Hospice.

The family takes part in the Torchlight Procession through Lincoln’s Bailgate every year, and Julie, has also done a sponsored skydive in his memory.

Anyone who would like to dedicate a light in memory of someone they will never forget can visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/LUAL