Lighting the way to remember Olive

Victoria Anderson (left), her grandma Olive and sister Stephanie.
Victoria Anderson (left), her grandma Olive and sister Stephanie.
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A Cramlington woman is preparing to step out to raise money in memory of her grandparents.

Victoria Anderson is taking part in St Oswald’s Lantern Walk in memory of her grandparents Olive and George.

The walk is taking place on Saturday at Newcastle Racecourse from 7pm and will see attendees walk the route of the racecourse grounds, carrying a paper lantern and a battery-operated tea light in memory of a loved one, raising money for the hospice.

A memory wall will be covered in messages, photos and other special tributes to special people dearly missed.

Victoria’s grandmother died in 2005 after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare type of cancer.

Victoria, 33, said: “My grandma used to make a monthly donation to St Oswald’s, so it was a charity that was special to her and my grandad.

“This is one of the reasons why my sister Stephanie, my mam Dawn and I wanted to complete the walk in memory of them both.

“She was my best friend; in fact, she was everyone’s best friend. Nothing was a bother to her and she was an inspiration to many people.

“I just only wished she could have met my two children.

“She said her goodbyes and passed away five weeks before my wedding day, but not before she made my cake.”

“She left lots of people heartbroken, including my grandad, who sadly also had the disease for a number of years but didn’t tell us.”

“He knew the pain the constant hospital visits and blood count checks have on a family so decided to ignore his symptoms.

“He passed away very suddenly of lung and liver cancer and once again the illness devastated the family.

“We now know that Grandma and Grandad are finally back together.”

She added: “St Oswald’s is known for the huge support it gives, not only its patients, but also to the family members who are affected too.

“Events like the Lantern Walk help raise awareness of the charity and can be a form of therapy for those affected.”

Siobhan Sargeant, senior fundraiser at St Oswald’s Hospice, said: “We’re really excited to be organising our first Lantern Walk, and hope lots of people will take part, whether or not they have a personal connection to the Hospice.

“Although it’s an event to remember loved ones, we want the event to be a celebration of life, and hope there will be a real buzz on the day.

“The Walkers will carry their lantern through the course, and each light will shine more brightly, as the sun sets, in remembrance of special people no longer with us.”

The Lantern Walk will take place on Saturday.

Doors open at 7pm and the walk will begin at 8.30pm.

Register to take part in the walk and make a donation by visiting www.stoswaldsuk.org/lantern-walk or calling 0191 246 9123.