“My mantra in life is to ‘live, love and laugh’ and the hospice helps me to do this”

May 9, 2022

 

Hayley Richardson has great style. Effortlessly chic. Wearing new jeans, this season’s must have style of course, (a bargain from M&S) and a flattering white linen top with just enough detail to make it stand out. All accessorised perfectly with colour coordinated jewellery, belt and pumps.

 

Not surprising, given her 18 years as an image consultant, preceded by a successful career as a fashion buyer.  But perhaps unexpected, given that it’s sometimes a struggle for her to even get out of bed. Hayley has stage 4 cancer but refuses to let it lower her standards when it comes to the way she looks.

 

“I love fashion. When I make the effort to look my best, it makes me feel better.”

 

Hayley, 54, surrounds herself with positivity – whether it’s kind and loving friends, her wonderful daughter Ruby, her passion for horses and travel or the thrill of opening a package from her favourite designer. She’s a glass half full kind of woman.

 

So, when she received a call offering support from North London Hospice, a year after her diagnosis – which came 12 years after she beat breast cancer – her instant reaction was “No thanks, go away, I’m not dying yet.”

 

Even though she admits she was at an extremely low point with frustrations over treatment, she didn’t feel ready to accept help from a hospice.

 

“But how wrong I was about the support North London Hospice could provide. I’ve been blown away by just how much they have helped me. The team are so kind and are supporting me to live my life. The nurses call or visit regularly and have helped me organise my medication. I receive emotional support from social worker Anne, so mentally I’m in a better place, and I know I can pick up the phone whenever I need to. They’ve also been a great help with the more practical things like making my will and even sorting out a new video doorbell which saves me walking up and down the stairs in our maisonette all the time!”

 

“When I first visited the hospice building in Finchley I was really surprised. It had a warm and strangely happy feel.”

 

“My mantra in life is to live, love and laugh and the hospice helps me to do this.” Despite the seemingly endless hospital appointments and assessments, Hayley, who lives in Barnet, says with the hospice’s help her pain is under control which enables her to indulge in her two passions in life – horses and travel.

 

“This year Ruby and I have made some wonderful memories, visiting Dubai and New York and I’ve got more travel on the horizon over the summer. My daughter is my proudest achievement, and we indulge our passion for horses together. Thanks to the support of North London Hospice I’m able to continue to enjoy the things that are important to me.

 

“If anyone in my situation is hesitant about contacting a hospice, I’d say don’t be. It’s not the last stop on the line as many believe, but a tremendous and unexpected support that can help you continue on your journey through life.”

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