When the Crick family lost their beloved son and brother Gray to cancer, friends and family came together to support each other. The family and friends have raised a staggering £64,000 for Cransley Hospice Trust in his memory and to help other patients and families who might need the same specialist support and end-of-life care that he received.
It was in December 2011 when the world was shattered for the Crick family and they received the devastating news that Gray had terminal cancer. In just three months Gray’s health deteriorated and he became very ill. He was admitted to Cransley Hospice in March 2012.
It was the team at Cransley Hospice who enabled Gray to live a better end of life and helped him to die at home which is what he wanted it. The family were so grateful and touched by the care and support given to Gray and to them, that they came together to celebrate Gray’s life and have raised over £64,000 for Cransley Hospice Trust so that other patients and families can receive the care that they need when they need it.
Gray’s brothers, Rob, Rick and Paul bravely explain how Cransley Hospice made the little things happen that made a BIG difference to Gray’s last days of life.
“In March 2012 Gray was moved to Cransley Hospice and for three weeks Gray and our family lived in this amazing little place where Gray received all the love and care of the extraordinary people that work there.
“We couldn’t think of a better place for him to have been. The love and care shown to Gray, and all our friends and family were nothing short of incredible. We were given a wheelchair to have little walks out in the fresh air and spent the day at Wicksteed – that was important to Gray.
“One of the afternoons we filled the TV room to watch a football game together. Huge thanks for that! On another occasion, Gray fancied a Strongbow, so one of the staff members went out to the local shop to get one. Little moments like that meant so much. All the nurses and staff went way above the call of duty and care. The passion shown was heart-warming.
“Nothing could change the terrible situation, but it was nice to know that Gray was in good hands and comfortable in a home-from-home. He didn’t have one night alone, a family member always sleeping by his side.
“On Gray’s wishes, he got to spend the last few days at home and we even managed to get out to some of our old haunts in Desborough to reminisce. On March 25th 2012 Gray passed away peacefully with his family around him. Our hearts were shattered but every piece was filled with treasured memories.
“Gray was only 33 when his life was cut short, he was the life and soul of every day, putting a smile on everybody’s faces and making them laugh. His funny sense of humour, personality and love of life was contagious. Family and friends meant everything to him and were what he lived for. Once we had lost him, we were always going to bring people together for events to celebrate his life.
“We gather at our family home for his birthday and all share Strongbows and food. A house full of family and friends, just as he would want it. Our best event is Crickfest which we’ve held every year at Rushton Cricket Club with a friendly cricket tournament, local bands, DJs bouncy castles, entertainment for the kids, raffles and auctions, cake stalls, face painters and more. It’s been a very special day where friends and family can come together and celebrate the life of Gray and other loved ones lost whilst having a fantastic time.
Dean Joy and Kev Bott, organisers of Crickfest and friends of Gray’s, held the tenth and final Crickfest last year which took the total to £64,000. The events have been enjoyed and loved by many people in the community, friends and family from the local area and beyond.
Dean Joy recalls “Highlights have been the late-night dance parties in the tents, and outdoor gigs from local bands and performers with guest appearances from Kazabian, Rolling Stones tributes and the Madness tribute band which were amazing!
“Gray would be so proud of his parents, brother and all friends and family for the hard work and enjoyment that has been had by all in his honour.
“One of the biggest highlights for me was seeing the Cricks win the cricket competition – twice lifting the trophy with their West Brom shirts on for Gray. Very moving..”
Gray’s father said “we love and miss Gray every second of every day”
This year Cransley Hospice Trust is celebrating the 25th anniversary since the opening of Cransley Hospice and in 25 years many sons and brothers like Gray have received the specialist care provided by the hospice and hospice at home teams. The support of our loyal and generous community is needed more than ever as the population of our area increases, so will demands on the services provided. “Together we can be here for the next 25 years”.
For information on how to support Cransley Hospice Trust please visit the website www.cransleyhospice.org.uk.