Dad who died aged just 46 in York inspires major event

Dominic and Louise Ryan and family <i>(Image: Supplied)</i>
Dominic and Louise Ryan and family (Image: Supplied)

A DAD who died in York aged just 46 has inspired a new mission for a city facility.

The family of Dominic or Nick Ryan are keen to raise money to buy two special beds for St Leonard’s Hospice in Tadcaster Road.

Nick’s wife, Louise and the family had the idea to buy the ‘cuddle beds’, as they are affectionately called, in Nick’s memory after he died in the hospice last October.

When he was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 45, his family spent time at his bedside in the hospice and came up with the idea of fundraising for cuddle beds so that families could be closer to their loved ones.


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“The cuddle bed enables a really important part of home life to be brought into the hospice. We do have fantastic beds and this is an additional benefit for patients that we’d love to have more of, and this is a great step in the right direction,” said Dr Bill Hulme, medical director, at St Leonard’s.

“Thanks to the generosity of Louise, her family and friends, we can make this happen for our patients, which we are really grateful for.”

In order to raise funds, young people are being invited to join in a Junior Fun Run event on June 30 in York to help raise money for the beds.

The event at York RI, Acomb, aims to help towards buying two of the special beds by raising up to £35,000.

The special bed looks like a single bed, and can be pulled out to turn into a double bed. It has the same design as a standard hospital bed but with the touch of a button, it can widen to a double bed. Some hospitals and hospices are already using these beds. The ability for families to get into the same bed as their loved one and have a cuddle or offer comfort at the most tender of times, is extremely beneficial.

Family friend Nikki Anderson decided to help towards the £35,000 fundraising goal by organising the Junior Fun Run event. Her own dad, Richard Dobson, also spent time in the hospice so she was keen to support the fundraising. Her son, George, also ran the mini run last August for the hospice.

“I’ve known Louise and Dominic for years and wanted to help Louise and her family raise the money needed to buy two cuddle beds for the hospice. A cuddle bed would have made such a difference to me and my children when my dad was in the hospice too.”

The Junior Fun Run event on Sunday, June 30 will run from 9am until 12pm with York RI girls football team squad running first as part of their warm up before they take on the Pretty Muddy Race for Life on the Knavesmire.

The morning will include a 2.5k run for 4 to 9-year-olds and a 5k run for 9 to 15-year-olds.

Entry is £10 per runner and includes sponsor form, medal and goody bag. The deadline for entries is June 1.

To enter, please visit: https://stleonardshospice.org.uk/fundraising/junior-fun-run/

Once entered, please follow the instructions to send your details to Nikki too so you can receive a fundraising pack.