Kate Hooper from Barming has Leukaemia. Kate has recently discovered that art therapy at the Hospice provides a wonderful way to forget about her illness. Her paintings were recently selected for a Heart of Kent Hospice Art Exhibition.
Here’s Kate’s story:
Kate had enjoyed painting as child but hadn’t picked up a paint brush since. Before being diagnosed with Leukaemia ten years ago, Kate particularly enjoyed spending her spare time gardening and reading. However due to her degeneration in health and mobility she has been unable to enjoy her favourite past-times. Her illness has greatly affected her mobility and the effects of chemotherapy have left Kate with some loss of hearing and poor eyesight.
Her GP referred Kate to the Hospice for community care and support. “Having Steve has been wonderful. Knowing someone is there to speak to, if I am worried or concerned about anything, is such a huge relief. It really is an amazing and important service. I didn’t even know this care existed. My GP has been very supportive, as has my daughter, who has given me wonderful family help, but Steve has offered amazing community care, managed my pain relief and helped control my symptoms. Steve has also managed my welfare to ensure I am mobile at home and even sorted out my blue badge disability application. I can’t thank him enough.
It was Steve who also recommended I attended day therapy at Magnolia Place situated at the Hospice. I had never heard of Magnolia Place and if I am honest I didn’t like the idea of going to the Hospice. My negative fears and thoughts about the Hospice soon disappeared. I absolutely love it here and look forward to coming every week. Coming here makes me feel my life is worth living. It has given me a very positive mind-set – it makes me feel ‘I am going to get through this’. People who come here are all experiencing a very difficult time in their life, but nobody’s miserable, everybody’s smiling. I enjoy the camaraderie we all bring – we are not washed up and finished. We help each other to cope and offer great support. It’s definitely not all doom and gloom. We may not be here next year but we are here today. I particularly love the art therapy Linda organises. I come every Wednesday and the week just seems to fly by. I am so grateful to John (a volunteer who drives patients to the Hospice) who comes and picks me up to take me to Magnolia Place every week.
I find the art therapy very therapeutic and pleasurable. I love the way it makes me feel. I didn’t realise how important it was to do something you like – it makes me feel so worthy and happy. When I paint I get lost in my painting. I go somewhere else, I forget about my illness and everything else. I feel I can be anyone I want when I paint. I paint for my own gratification because it gives me so much pleasure and makes me feel like I am somewhere else. I am very flattered my paintings have been selected for the new Hospice art exhibition. It has made me feel important and special. I am looking forward to my daughter coming to visit the Hospice to see my paintings. I really can’t thank everyone at the Hospice enough – they have made me feel my life is worth living.
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