Sisters show thanks for Dad's care

FOUR sisters have today raised thousands of pounds to thank a charity for the "amazing and wonderful" care it gave their dad as he was dying from cancer.

FOUR sisters have today raised thousands of pounds to thank a charity for the "amazing and wonderful" care it gave their dad as he was dying from cancer.

Felixstowe businessman Jeff Page, who ran Happi Pets, died just a couple of months after the disease was diagnosed.

But his daughters – Lorraine Claydon, Sonia Mayes, Donna Eccleston and Mandi Abbott – immediately decided they wanted to do something in his memory to thank those who had cared for him.

Now the foursome have raised £5,530 in just four months for St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich after holding two successful fundraising events.

Lorraine and Sonia both did a sponsored parachute jump, while Donna and Mandi organised a sell-out evening at Felixstowe Beach Holiday Park for 250 people, featuring a draw and a Robbie Williams tribute act.

"The support we had for both events was fantastic – friends, relatives and work colleagues, and businesses in the area have been brilliant," said Mrs Eccleston.

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"We didn't know how much we would raise and we have just been so delighted with all the help that we have had and so many people have been so kind."

Mr Page, who left a widow Eileen, ran Happi Pets in Grange Road, for 15 years. Sonia and Mandi are now carrying on the business.

He was diagnosed with cancer last November after complaining of pains in his arms and neck which doctors had first thought was arthritis.

He was having treatment for arthritis when a specialist suddenly suggested a scan, which then detected the cancer. But there was little doctors could do as the disease had already taken hold and was still spreading.

"We had no idea it was going to be so quick. He had radiotherapy for eight weeks and we had a wonderful family Christmas together, but then he went downhill really quickly and died on January 4," said Mrs Eccleston.

"He was in the hospice for only a few weeks but the care and attention was wonderful and amazing, and we all felt an overwhelming sense that we should raise some money for them to help them with the work they do.

"We wanted to do it in dad's memory and also to thank the people at the hospice. We know they have to raise so much money each year to keep the hospice open and we just wanted to do anything we could to help with that."

The sisters have already booked the caravan club for another fundraising evening on December 4.

n Has the work of the St Elizabeth Hospice touched your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail or visit the forum at

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