In April 2015, Jaci Blackmore, 45, a mother and grandmother from Littlehampton, lost the sight in one eye and yet considers herself to be lucky. At first, doctors suspected she had a brain tumour, but after numerous MRIs and blood tests, they concluded that the cause was MS-related. This difficult experience gave Jaci a new perspective on life, as she is now so grateful to be able to be with her family for years to come. In a bid to help others less fortunate than herself, she was the first to sign up for the 20 mile route of the St Barnabas House Night to Remember midnight walk, taking place on Saturday 25 June 2016 from Worthing Leisure Centre.
Jaci experienced first-hand the outstanding hospice care St Barnabas House provide in September 2004, when her father-in-law, Walter Cooke, spent two months at the hospice. She will be walking in memory of Walter. Jaci said: “After my experience last year, I had a personal desire to do something significant to kick me into action. I decided to set myself a challenge to walk in memory of Walter, for the charity that cared so beautifully for him, at the end of his life.
“I really do consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. I have five wonderful children. My youngest, Victoria, 12, goes to Chatsmore Catholic School, while Savannah, 16, is at Northbrook College. Natalie, 27, Craig, 23 and Kirsty, 22 are my three grown up children, and I am blessed with a beautiful granddaughter, Evie, now 4. Life is precious and I am just so pleased that I am around to enjoy my family.
My daughter Kirsty, a Traffic Warden from Worthing, has offered to walk with me on the night, as my loss of sight does occasionally make it hard for me to walk in a straight line. I know 20 miles is a challenge for most people, but that is what I wanted. I work in an office five days per week as a civil servant at the Valuation Office Agency, Worthing. I set myself this challenge to help me get fitter and I am now exercising regularly on a running machine.
“I am really excited about the walk, and hope my story inspires others to sign up to walk for St Barnabas House too.”
If you want to take part in Night to Remember, you can choose between the 7, 13.1 (half marathon) mile routes along Worthing’s streets and seafront, or the 20 mile route through Worthing to Shoreham and back.
Hurry – registration closes Monday 13 June! Visit our Night to Remember website to find out more, register and use our support materials – www.nighttoremember.org.uk/stb.
If you would like to register a team, or for more information, please call the Events Team on 01903 706354.
Jaci is hoping to raise £250 for the St Barnabas House Hospice at Home service. If you want to help her reach her fundraising target please go to www.justgiving.com/j-Blackmore