My nan's story shows why the Great Daffodil Appeal is so important

Amy Manders with her nan
Amy Manders with her nan Bernadette

Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal kicks off in earnest on 1 March – but look out for our TV and radio ads from today. The appeal makes it possible for our nurses to care for more people with a terminal illness in their own homes. It relies on the generosity of people who donate and wear a daffodil and those who give up their time to collect on our behalf. Many of our collectors have a personal reason to get involved, as Amy Manders from Cardiff explains: “I’ve been fundraising ever since my nan died in the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and Vale in May 2010. The nurses at the hospice were wonderful and I thought it was a nice way of giving back and saying thank you. “My nan, Bernadette, had lung and bone cancer, which spread everywhere. She was in the hospice for ten days at the end of her life, during which time the staff cared for her and supported me and my family. “The hospice is in Penarth, which was one of my nan’s favourite places. It is a gorgeous place, with a pier and a pebbly beach. I used to go with Nan and all the family and have chips on the pier. Sometimes she would just go there by herself – she loved it there. The hospice has a view of the sea and, on the day she died, Nan was in a room overlooking Penarth Pier.

Nursing care

“The nurses helped my family to care for her by taking control at the end, so we could just be there for her without worrying about things like pain relief. It took all the pressure off and meant we could just be there to support her while she was sleeping. There is no way we could have done it without them. “When Nan passed away the whole family were in the room with her. We were listening to Vera Lynn, which was her favourite CD. It was mid-afternoon and the music was very relaxing – and we all fell asleep. When we all woke up, she just slipped away, five minutes later. It was just the way she would have wanted it. “Between December and May, when Nan was admitted to the hospice, one of the nurses, Liz, visited her at her home. She became like a family friend. Liz also came to see us when Nan was in the hospice, to offer support. Then after Nan passed away, she came into the room with us all. It felt as if she was a real friend – it didn’t feel like it was her job. I know that many times, when she came to see Nan, my mum would confide in her, so Nan wouldn’t see that she was upset. “When I got involved in collecting, I met other people who had been through the same thing. The support of the other fundraisers has been a massive help to me. Because we’ve all lost people, Marie Curie means a lot to us.” Donate to the Great Daffodil Appeal Sign up to be a Great Daffodil Appeal collector