Run for St Wilfrid’s in memory of Selsey mum


Melanie Atkinson, 51, is running the Brighton Marathon for her mum Sheila Dean, who died in November at the age of 72.

Sheila, who was well-known in Selsey where she lived, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just months before she died.

Melanie decided to run the marathon to 
raise money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, which helped her family through the difficult period with its day centre.

“My mum lived in Selsey for many years,” said Melanie. “She was a very active lady. She looked after other people’s animals, walking dogs, feeding cats and sometimes there were reptiles in the mix.

“She used to care for the elderly. She worked for Conifers for many years.

“She was part of Selsey amateur dramatics, she set up a group that went around the residential homes.

“When she was 69 she had a massive stroke that rendered her severely disabled. To go to the shops she needed a wheelchair.

“I am sure it got her down, but you would not have known it, she just got on with things. She was quite resilient.”

It was a couple of years later when Sheila was admitted to hospital that she discovered she had pancreatic cancer.

She spent two mornings at St Wilfrid’s day care unit, and nurses from the hospice helped Melanie and her family care for Sheila at home.

“The hospice specialist nurse offered up some support, she was lovely.

“Community care staff were second to none in helping to care for my mum.

“My mum was fortunate enough to spend two mornings there before she died and she talked about meeting lovely people

“She died at home with myself, my sister and brother nursing her, just six weeks after her diagnosis.

As a tribute to her mum, and to say thank you to St Wilfrid’s for its support, Melanie will run the marathon on April 6, and hopes to raise around £1,500 for the hospice.

If you want to sponsor Melanie, or send a message of support, visit