I was only six years old when my dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He received treatment and was clear for two years but, in the summer of 2006, they discovered that the cancer had returned and spread to his brain. Over the next year, he went through good and bad phases. After one of the bad phases, we realised that he needed more care than we could give him at home and he was admitted to the Ayrshire Hospice.

Every night, mum and I would go in to visit dad. Dad loved Chinese food and I remember we used to take in a Chinese takeaway to the hospice every Saturday night. When it was his 54th birthday, we wanted to celebrate and the nurses and catering team helped us organise a small party for him. They put together an amazing trolley of cream cakes. I especially remember the peppermint slices – they were so delicious. This was dad’s last birthday and I’m just so grateful to everyone at the hospice to have these special memories.

The nurses were so kind and looked after us all. They made dad as comfortable as possible and they always seemed to know when I was down, helping me to get through this really tough time. The hospice is not a hospital – it is so much more than that. They take the time to talk to you, spend time with you, get to know you – so they know how to support you when times get tough.

My dad passed away in November 2007 and I know that he was in a good place at the end. The nurses were so amazing in his final few days, making sure that he was as comfortable as possible, while helping my family get through this tough time.

I can’t thank the hospice enough for all they did for my dad and my family. I don’t want anyone to go      through this terrible time without the support of Ayrshire Hospice and that is why I’m supporting the hospice’s Ribbon to Remember Appeal this year.