'Women-only' charity walk rules changed so little Harley can walk in memory of his dad

The Northern Echo: Claire Tucker, (mother) Chloe (daughter) and John Tucker (father) at Chloe’s 20th birthday party Claire Tucker, (mother) Chloe (daughter) and John Tucker (father) at Chloe’s 20th birthday party

A BOY and his mother are preparing in make an emotional charity walk in memory of a beloved dad and husband.

Harley Tucker, who is seven, will complete the Butterwick Hospice Western Walk in Stockton with his mother, Claire and big sister, Chloe, 20.

The family will complete the walk in memory of John Tucker, who died in the hospice of a rare form of cancer in February aged 52.

The hospice has even the changed the rules so that Harley can take part in what is otherwise a female-only walk.

Mrs Hunter, 42, of Norton, near Stockton, explained that her husband was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affected his stomach in 2012.

She said her husband had a fear of hospitals and thought the Butterwick would be a similar institution. However when he eventually did go into the Butterwick his medication was improved and he felt better and even returned home.

When the time came, Mr and MrsHunter decided he should return to the hospice so the children did not have to cope with seeing their father die at home.

Mr Hunter had been unable to work towards the end but instead had looked after Harley and both children were "incredibly close" to their dad.

Mrs Hunter, who explained the family have had counselling at the hospice before and after Mr Hunter's death, said: "The hospice even made provision for John’s little dog Tilly to come in so he could say goodbye. He was totally aware then that he wasn’t coming home and we were able to stay in the hospice family room to be close to him all the time."

*The Ladies Western Walk around the Riverside will take place on Saturday, July 5. Find out how to take part contact Mandy Shields or Jackie Firth on 01642 628930 or email jackiefirth@butterwick.org.uk

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