How seeing her beloved mum cared for by a Marie Curie Nurse during her last days led Karen Green to become a legacy ambassador.
As an only child, Karen Green had always been incredibly close to her mum, Elsie Sands. So when Elsie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and given less than a year to live, Karen was understandably devastated. But as her mum became more poorly, she was eventually referred to Marie Curie, who arranged for Nurse Patricia to help care for her mum at home. “Patricia was just an angel,” says Karen, 58. “As much as she looked after mum, she was there to support me as well and that was so invaluable. And as mum came to the end of her life, Patricia made it possible for mum to stay in her own surroundings around those she loved which I was so grateful for.”
Once Elsie passed away, Karen was adamant that she wanted to give back for the wonderful compassion and care her mum had received and so almost immediately she started volunteering for Marie Curie, helping out with events, fundraising and eventually volunteering in the office both as a press officer and a legacy ambassador.
In both of her roles, Karen goes out and gives talks about her story to celebrate the life-changing work that Marie Curie does and encourage people to support the charity. Over the years she’s held photo calls with footballers and film stars and helped organise events that have raised significant funds to help make a difference.
A key part of her work as a Legacy Ambassador is also to talk to people about the importance of having a Will and if possible, leaving a gift to Marie Curie, as she has now done in her own Will. “My mum died without a Will and even though I’m her only child it still caused some problems and took a long time to prove probate so now I’m very clear with my friends about what my wishes are after I’m gone.
“I decided to leave a gift in my Will for Marie Curie because it’s nice to think that I’ll be giving something for the future and it was so easy to organise with my local solicitor. Mum was nursed for free because someone else had left a gift in their Will before and now I’m giving that gift to another family later down the line to help them at a very difficult time.
“I hope mum would be proud of all that I’ve done with Marie Curie because really I’ve done everything in her memory.”
Remember a Charity
With this week being Remember a Charity in Your Will Week (September 10-16) it is a good time to think about the legacy you want to leave when you’re no longer around. Whether you’ve made a Will already, or haven’t got around to it yet, it’s easy to leave a gift in your Will to Marie Curie. More than a third of all the care Marie Curie provided to people who are terminally ill last year was thanks to gifts in Wills.
- To find out more order your free Gifts in Wills guide. Call 0800 144 5740 or visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/willguide