A charity fundraiser who has just completed the London marathon alongside his wife is hoping his family’s story will inspire others to support the hospice that cared for his dad.
“They gave my dad his smile back – how can I ever thank them enough for that?” said Dave Butmaro, son of Auryel a popular and much-loved barber from Telford.
Auryel, known as Alan, passed away in September last year, just months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had received care at Severn Hospice in Apley, Telford.
“I never thought we would ever have to visit a hospice – unfortunately, I was wrong, but I can’t have wished for a better place for my dad to be. The comfort they gave him was priceless,” said Dave, whose marathon-running efforts with his wife Nicola have raised more than £13,000.
Now he is urging people to get behind the charity’s summer raffle – one of its two special raffle fundraisers in the year which support the free care it gives to local people living with incurable illness.
“By buying a ticket for the summer raffle, you will be giving the gift of love,” said Dave.
“From day one Dad was welcomed and cared for, his pain was brought under control, and he was made comfortable. Not only did the hospice care for Dad, but the amazing staff also helped us make memories we will treasure forever.
“One of the most touching things for us was that Dad had his little dog Poppy with him in his room. I never knew you could do that, but it was the little things that meant so much. I know that this gave him great comfort,” added Dave.
Dave has shared his story in a letter written directly to the charity’s loyal supporters, urging them to buy a raffle ticket. As well as supporting the care the hospice provides, raffle ticket buyers stand a chance of winning the top prize of £5,000 as well as one of 42 other cash prizes.
Raffle tickets cost just £1 each and are also available online, from the charity’s main receptions at Shrewsbury and Telford and from its high street shops.
Karen Swindells, head of lottery at Severn Hospice, said: “Our summer and Christmas raffles bring in thousands of pounds, proceeds of which go towards the care we provide.
“Each year, we care for thousands of people and their families who are living with incurable illness, people just like Auryel, Dave and the rest of his family and that care is only possible thanks to our loyal supporters.
“We’re not funded by the NHS and rely on fundraising, donations, and legacies to pay for the vital care we provide.
“It was an honour to care for Auryel and to meet his lovely family. I cannot thank Dave enough for sharing his story with us and for the family’s continued support.”
Tickets are on sale until June 30 and the draw takes place on July 7. The winning numbers will be published on Severn Hospice’s website and winners notified by post.
To buy a ticket, which cost just £1 each, go to www.severnhospice.org.uk/summer-raffle.
Tickets can also be purchased from any of the charity’s shops and from the receptions at its hospices.