Half-marathon in Tommy’s memory

Tom, Phoebe and Sophie.
Tom, Phoebe and Sophie.

The loved ones of a farmer who lost his cancer battle are tackling the Great North Run to raise money for the charity which supported him in the weeks before he died.

Tommy Henderson lived in the Coquet Valley all his life and was described by his family as a true Northumbrian gent.

Tommy and Ellen Henderson

Tommy and Ellen Henderson

Tommy, who was a farm manager for 60 years and was married to Ellen for 68, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early in 2017. After his diagnosis, Tommy said that he did not want to die in hospital and wanted to be at home.

At the age of 90 and three weeks before he passed away in July 2017, HospiceCare North Northumberland’s Hospice at Home team came in to support Tommy and his loved ones.

His family said that Tommy enjoyed conversations with the nurses and their visits provided stimulation for his active mind and social communication in his final weeks.

The respite that his family received while the hospice nurses were looking after Tommy was also invaluable.

Son Tom said that his dad had a very dignified death and his wishes were granted by dying at home, adding that Tommy had a lot of respect for the hospice’s nurses as nothing was too much for them. Another of his wishes was for his family to be active, leading to Great North Run discussions.

And this Sunday, Tom, as well as Tommy’s granddaughters Phoebe and Sophie, Tom’s brother-in-law Andy Davidson and family friend Christine Brown are running the half-marathon for HospiceCare. Donate via mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/tomhenderson1

HospiceCare has a team of more than 60 runners lining up for the Great North Run, wearing vests sponsored by Nick McCreath of McCreath and Sons, Berwick, who is also part of the running squad.