One of our wonderful supporters, Kiran Sahota, has laced up her running shoes and represented Birmingham as a Baton Bearer in the Commonwealth Games relay on Monday, July 25th.
We couldn’t be more excited for Kiran, who has been a dedicated supporter of the charity after her grandmother, Surjit, was cared for by John Taylor Hospice in 2009.
Kiran’s journey with the hospice began more than 12 years ago after her beloved grandma was diagnosed with oesophagus cancer and received care from nurses at the hospice.
She has since worked with the charity, and many others, raising awareness of hugely important causes – which has led to her involvement in many exciting events, including acting as Baton Bearer for the London Olympics back in 2012 – so she will have lots of experience ready for this year’s summer of sport!
Kiran is just one of many lucky people taking part in the relay. As a Baton Bearer, she ran through an area of West Bromwich, near where she lives, on Monday 25th July to help launch the Commonwealth Games 2022.
“For the London Olympics back in 2012, I was nominated for my work with education charities and asked to be a Baton Bearer in the relay back then,” Kiran explained.
“I didn’t know you could be chosen again but I’m really excited to represent the Commonwealth Games this time. I love Birmingham, this is my home, where my family are.
“I have now lost both my gran and grandad, who died from dementia, so Birmingham is really my link to them. I wish they were here to see because who would have thought this amazing experience would have come from that terrible time. It’s very bittersweet.
“My gran was a big sports fan so I know she would have loved the games being here in Birmingham.”
When Kiran was just 22 she quit her job and became a carer for her gran and had to learn all about cancer and end of life care.
After a little while, her gran’s condition started to worsen and she ended up in hospital where she died in November 2009.
Kiran said that for her, the hospice became like a family, as staff supported her through pre and post bereavement.
“My gran was very much a mother-figure for me so it was difficult to deal with,” Kiran said. “She guided me in life so much, we weren’t prepared for her illness at all.
“It affected us both, but with Sarah, our nurse, coming to the house it helped a lot. At 22 years-old I was losing touch with many of my friends because I was going through this journey and grieving on my own. Conditions like my gran’s don’t just affect the patient, but their whole family.”
After many years fundraising and raising awareness of John Taylor Hospice, Kiran said she is glad to extend that reach further by representing the hospice at the Commonwealth Games.
“I’m really shocked and a bit overwhelmed that I’ve been chosen for this honour,” she added. “If somebody told me this would happen when I first started doing work with charities like John Taylor Hospice, I never would have believed them.
“I am going to dedicate this run to all the families who have loved ones being cared for by a hospice. We all have some days when we think life will go back to normal. And we have some days when it all comes crashing down and you’re told you only have a small amount of time left with your loved one.
“At some points, I never thought I’d see the light again as the grief was so heavy, but I did and I’m here to show others that.”
Thank you Kiran for your ongoing support of our charity, we are so grateful.