I have chosen to help raise funds for Strathcarron Hospice because I know first-hand how vitally important this service is.

My Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in 2021. He was the fittest, most healthiest looking, terminally ill person you could ever have met. He was always laughing, mainly at my Mum's expense, he’d always find something to laugh about.

Before we were introduced to Strathcarron we were told my Dad's prognosis was around 2 years. We stayed positive with this news as there are advances being made in medicine all the time.

However, things took a turn for the worst and Dad being Dad, didn't just have one type of cancer cell but two very different types! Treatment was working for the one type, whilst the other type of cancer cells were having a party and causing mayhem in his body. This is when we had to call for the help of Strathcarron.

The cancer had got so bad that my Mum and I needed help, but Mum had promised that she would nurse my Dad at home. With the help we received from Strathcarron, this is exactly what she was able to do.

The nurses were fantastic with my Dad, and also with Mum. Mum knew she wasn't able to look after Dad by herself but with the help of the Strathcarron nurses she was able to keep her promise and keep Dad at home.

Very sadly, we only needed their help for less than two weeks. The cancer had spread and taken too strong a hold on my Dad's body. He couldn’t fight any longer.

Mum and I were both with Dad when he died. I strongly believe that if we didn't have the help from the Strathcarron nurses then Dad would have had to have gone into hospital and we may not have been with him when he died – this was also during Covid, and access to hospitals was limited.

It was an honour and a privilege to be with my Dad when he died. I was able to tell him everything I wanted to, how proud my brothers and sister were to have had him as our Dad, that he'd done such a great job at bringing us up and how all the grandkids will have such happy and funny memories of him. I also told him that we will all be okay, I'll look after Mum for him and not to worry.

Dad was there for me when I took my first breaths into this world and I was there for him taking his last. An absolute privilege, and only possible with the help of Strathcarron.

Mum still gets phone calls every now and then from the nurses to see how she is. These phone calls mean so much to Mum, knowing that they still care.

I will be trekking over the Sahara Desert in memory of my Dad and raising awareness of how important the Strathcarron Hospice and Nurses are. They are a life-line for so many. Without them my mum wouldn't have been able to have kept her last promise to Dad.

Please, please consider donating – everything, no matter how little, helps. Thank you.

Rhona Manson