Page 1 - September 2015 newsletter
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The newsletter of The Hospice of St Francis
Getting Muddy for Paul
We are constantly moved by the number of people inspired to fundraise for us in memory of a loved one after experiencing our care first-hand or receiving support themselves as a relative, friend or carer.
As she faced losing her beloved husband Paul, devoted father of their four daughters Freya, 13, Ursula, 12, Maddie, 10, and Cordelia, 6, Eleanor Keohane told her friends on Facebook that she was entering a team – the Keohane Crew – for the Hospice’s Mud Pack Challenge and invited them to join her.
The response was overwhelming. Friends started signing up in their droves and on Sunday18thOctoberthenearly100-strong Keohane Crew will be crawling, climbing and wading through the mud at Ashridge House,
negotiating wet and muddy obstacles in memory of City banker Paul, 52.
Here Eleanor, 43, tells their story:
“The first sign we had that anything was wrong was back in April 2010, when Paul had some niggling pain around his hips. He was a gifted athlete and enjoyed playing cricket for Little Gaddesden, but it was a team joke that he always had back strain.
“AvisittoaspecialistandanMRIscan revealed nothing so he took up pilates to overcome his discomfort. However a further scan in April 2013 revealed a tumour at the base of his spine, which was diagnosed as Ewing’s sarcoma. This very rare form of bone cancer usually only affects teenagers and
at 50, Paul was the oldest person on record to get it. He was so fit and healthy, it didn’t
seem possible but because he was in such good shape, being positive was the only option.
He responded well to intensive chemo
and radiotherapy. He was determined not to let it beat him. Sadly though, in January 2015, a secondary tumour developed in his pelvic region. It required a complex 16-hour operation to remove part of his pelvis and a bone graft from his shin into hiship. Post-operatively,Paulwasinahuge amount of pain, but with regular weekly visits from the district nurses, the Hospice’s community nurse specialists, physiotherapy in the Hospice gym and psychological support from the Hospice’s supportive care team, he went from just about being able to get in and out of bed, to being able to
Continued overleaf
“Paul would have done anything to support the Hospice,” Eleanor
Visit our website to find out how you can get involved: p1
Devoted dad Paul, with Eleanor and (L-R) daughters Freya, 13, Cordelia, 6, Maddie, 10, and Ursula, 12.
If you’d like to join the Keohane Crew and take part in our Mud Pack Challenge II, places are filling up fast! Sign up now at and get set to crawl, wade and climb your way around the stunning grounds of Ashridge House on Sunday 18th October.

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