For 27 years Dr Deborah Stevens worked at the heart of Cornish charity Cornwall Hospice Care, spending 20 of them as Medical Director. She saw at first hand the difference the service makes to patients and their families and now in her retirement, she’s taking on a virtual cycle to help fund the care.
Dr Deborah is taking part in LEJOG, a virtual cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats that’s being hosted by Cornwall Hospice Care. “I’ll be cycling 874 real hard miles around my own local and very hilly area over the next few months,” says Deborah. “I’ll benefit in so many ways as the challenge will make me get out on my bike no matter what the weather is doing and I’ll be supporting a Cornish charity that’s very dear to my heart. As well as working for Cornwall Hospice Care, I also had the privilege of being supported by the team when my mother died at St Julia’s in 2010.”
Dr Deborah retired in March last year just as the pandemic hit. “It’s been strange as it felt as though I just disappeared because we all went in to lock down. Even though I stayed on in a voluntary capacity and helped organise some community services for a few weeks, I really didn’t feel as though I’d left properly. This challenge allows me to sign off in style and raise some much-needed funds to ensure the beds at our two hospices stay open as they have done 24/7 throughout this pandemic.”
Dr Deborah continues; “Everyone has the right to a peaceful and dignified death, surrounded by those who matter to them most and looked after by people who care for them as individuals. Cornwall Hospice Care supports that aim totally and yet the charity depends on all of us to support them so the hospices are there when we need help at the end of life.”
You can find out more about Dr Deborah’s challenge here – https://www.justgiving.com/Deborah-Stevens7
You can also listen to Dr Deborah's story
Before she retired, Dr Deborah recorded a podcast looking back over her medical career in Cornwall, talking about the sad times and the funnier moments she experienced. You can hear it via the link below or find it on any of the main streaming platforms under the title ‘Two Old Choughs, a Tale of Two Hospices’ episode 12 and called “Someone who travels beside you”.
Former colleague, Paul Brinsley is the Chief Executive of Cornwall Hospice Care: “We all missed not being able to say a proper goodbye to Deborah, so it’s great that she’s continuing to support the hospices through LEJOG. We all wish her success with her virtual cycle ride.“