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Claire Shephard, Viv Whitehead, Linda Beat, Sue Toon, Jo Ely and Ellen Chapman to take part in the Moonlight Walk Stamford in aid of St Barnabas Hospice who cared for their late friend, Alison Shipley

A group of women are taking part in this year’s Moonlight Walk Stamford today (September 14) in memory of their best friend, Alison Shipley.

The ladies, Claire Shephard, Viv Whitehead, Linda Beat, Sue Toon, Jo Ely and Ellen Chapman, are hoping to raise over £1,500 in memory of Alison who sadly died in the St Barnabas Inpatient Unit in July.

Alison was diagnosed with terminal advanced aggressive ovarian cancer.

Alison with her horse
Alison with her horse

Claire said: “Alison was an amazing friend and auntie to my two boys. The nurses at St Barnabas got to know her and understood how important her animals were to her. They arranged for Alison to see her horse and dogs one last time. At this stage, Alison was very poorly, but she was so strongly driven towards seeing her animals that she made it happen.

One of the nurses, Annie Penrice, had worked for many years on a ranch in Texas, so she knew how important the bond is between a horse and their owner.”

Annie added: “Alison absolutely lit up when she saw her horse. As soon as the horse recognised her, it dropped its head and started nuzzling her. It was a very inspiring but emotional visit for us all.”

Claire said: “The trip really meant the world to Alison and her close family and friends. It was emotional, but it gave her one last chance to cuddle and love her horse and dogs one last time.

The trip was on a Wednesday, and Alison died peacefully the following Sunday.

“I will always be truly grateful to St Barnabas for arranging this for us as it helped Alison so much towards the end. This is why we have chosen to take part in the Moonlight Walk Stamford. We want to give a little something back to the hospice who did so much for us.

“I’m hoping to bring Alison’s dog, Choco, with me to take part in the Moonlight Walk. It’s going to be an emotional night, but we will share memories of Alison as we walk the route. I’m sure she will be smiling down at us all.”

This year’s Moonlight Walk Stamford starts at 7.30pm tomorrow at Borderville Sports Centre.

Are you taking part? Send your photos to: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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