Family puts best foot forward in memory of Stedham grandfather

Front June Clear centre with her daughters Allison Swain left and Yvonne Harman right. Rear great granddaughter Sapphire Swain (Right) and her friend Amy Harris left
Front June Clear centre with her daughters Allison Swain left and Yvonne Harman right. Rear great granddaughter Sapphire Swain (Right) and her friend Amy Harris left

A family from Stedham have taken to the beaches of Sussex in a 10km walk to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Malcolm Clear.

Malcolm’s wife, June, and 18 other family members including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, walked from Goring Gap to Worthing Pier and back in a 10km trek to raise £660 for the charity that have supported them through the loss of their family patriarch.

June, aged 75, said: “When we found out about Malcolm’s cancer, we were told he’d only have two or three weeks left to live. The world just crashed down around us at the news – we were devastated.

“He had always been the kind of man to keep aches and pains to himself. He didn’t like to complain and he only went to the GP when I became very concerned about the stomach pains and headaches he occasionally mentioned.

“Macmillan were a huge help right from the start. Our nurse, Mel, was always there whenever we had any questions or concerns and we had fantastic support.”

Malcolm eventually passed away peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by his family at home, ten weeks after his diagnosis.

Mrs Clear added: “Since Malcolm passed, the support from Macmillan has continued and it’s really helped me find a way through the grief. I had never felt so alone before – my husband and I had been married since I was 16-years-old, and he died three days before our 59th wedding anniversary. He had always been there for me, and then suddenly he wasn’t. It was hard to come to terms with, but Macmillan have been wonderful. When I said I wanted to give something back to the charity by doing some fundraising, the whole family wanted to take part!”

June and her family received help from Malcolm’s diagnosis and onwards from the Midhurst Macmillan Palliative Care Service. The service is a community-based specialist palliative care service that aims to provide direct care and support to patients in the last 12 months of life, preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and enabling them to live at home and die in the place of their choice. It also works to offer bereavement support to those affected by the loss of a person with cancer. It currently helps approximately 150,000 people across three counties – Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex.

Joanna Stuttaford, Joint Service Lead for the Midhurst Macmillan Palliative Care Service, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Clear and her family for their amazing efforts to support our Service. We are particularly grateful, as the money raised will go directly towards the development of and continuing work of this Macmillan Service.”

After the success of their first event, June now hopes the walk, nicknamed ‘Memories of Mal’, will become an annual occasion for her family – and anyone else affected by cancer – to take part in. She said: “It was hard going for a few of us. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, so I did have the help of an electric buggy at one or two points, but I’m so glad I made it. Every step was in memory of Malcolm, and I’m very proud of the family for pulling together and raising some money for the charity that has helped us through.”

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