Martin's story – Culture Crawl helped us say thanks

Tuesday 14 Jan 2020

Maggie's Manchester


I took part in Maggie's Culture Crawl because Maggie's helped me get through the huge waves of emotion and bewilderment when my mum died.


Why I signed up for Culture Crawl

My mum was diagnosed with Cancer of Unknown Primary and died in July 2017 quite soon after her diagnosis. 

When she was in hospital my dad and I used to have some respite by sitting in the garden at Maggie’s. 

I found Maggie’s to be a warm and welcoming place but to be honest when I signed up to the Bereavement Group I didn’t expect to get anything out of it. I just wanted to be a support to my dad and make sense of this sudden loss. 

A group of eight of us got together each week at Maggie’s Manchester. We had all had really different experiences. One of the group had lost her husband and was struggling to come to terms with the “new normal” for her and her kids. 

She helped me understand where my dad was coming from and she benefitted from my perspective as well. I realised that I didn’t need to pretend to be strong in order to support my dad. 

Initially, talking was really difficult but we all gained confidence in discussing death and coming to terms with our sense of loss. 

What we all gained was the ability to look forward to life. It sounds strange but our Bereavement Group was full of laughter.

We continued to meet up and then decided to raise some money for Maggie’s, to give something back, and to give us another reason to get together! 

Taking part in Culture Crawl 

Prior to Culture Crawl we did a sponsored walk. Eight of us walking eight miles in a figure of eight for eight very special people. It ended up being more strenuous than it should have been! One of us was on morphine for a bad back and one of us ended up needing a hip replacement.  

We then decided to take part in Culture Crawl because it seemed so well organised and the distance would be broken up by food, good conversation and seeing interesting parts of the city you wouldn’t normally see. 

On the night

The night was one of absolute hilarity with us being noisy, silly, and so passionate about wearing our orange clothing with pride. We only encountered rain once all evening and took shelter in The Whitworth Art Gallery where a beautiful choir treated us to soulful African music.  

The Indian restaurant was amazing because of the personal connection to Maggie’s – and the food of course. It made you realise that everyone was buying in to what we were doing. It was bigger than us!  

We’ve raised more than £4,000 for Maggie’s and we’ll definitely be doing it again next year. 

Doing something for Maggie’s has turned out to be so cathartic and helpful. It’s been a continuation of our journey in terms of dealing with grief and bereavement.

Inspired to keep supporting Maggie's

Culture Crawl has redefined our relationship with Maggie’s and we now have a new identity within the Maggie’s community. 

Last year we were invited to a Christmas event as fundraisers and it was incredibly emotional and positive to be there as fundraisers and not just as part of the bereavement group – it was a signal of how far we had come as individuals and in finding our “new normal”. 

It has helped us change our narrative – now we’re volunteers and fundraisers

If this story has inspired you, find out more about fundraising for Maggie's.

Here with you

If you, your family or friends need support during this time, please call us on 0300 123 180, email enquiries@maggies.org or book a time to visit us.

If you're already visiting the hospital, just come in.

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