When Kerry saw that last year’s Kapow was taking place on the first anniversary of her husband’s death, she knew she had to get involved.

Shawn was diagnosed with kidney cancer in March 2016, but by 2017 his condition had started to rapidly deteriorate.

He spent February to June of that year in and out of hospital, and spent two days at St Wilfrid’s before he died on 9th June 2017, aged 49.

Kerry told us: ‘When Shawn was admitted to the hospice such a weight was lifted off our shoulders. We could spend time together as a family as we weren’t restricted by visiting times; it made an indescribable difference.

‘During the short time Shawn was at St Wilfrid’s and since then, we have received so much care and support.’

Kerry has chosen to honour Shawn’s life by living her own to the full every day: ‘People say that what has happened is tragic , which it is, but you can’t focus on that, you have to keep living life; it’s what he would have wanted us to do.

‘Shawn died the day before our daughter, Kiah’s, 18th birthday, and we didn’t know whether to go ahead with her party, but we realised that Shawn had given us a gift: in leaving us the day before the party, he gave us a sense of certainty: we didn’t have to worry about being interrupted by a phone call bringing bad news. Instead, we could celebrate and surround each other with love.’

As the first anniversary of Shawn’s death approached, Kerry was thinking of positive ways to remember the occasion, when she saw that Kapow, St Wilfrid’s superhero-themed 5K fun run was taking place the very same day: ‘I knew we had to do it. Kiah and Bradley, who is now 12, dressed as Dash and Violet from The Incredibles while I went as Wonder Woman - it's what people always call me!

‘Taking part in the event really changed the reality of the day; it could have been a sad occasion, but instead we felt so positive. It was a fun thing to do and it felt good to give something back to the hospice.’

Since Kapow, Kerry has taken part in the Beachy Head 10K and Eastbourne Half Marathon to raise funds for the hospice. In February this year, she held a 1980s-themed party for what would have been Shawn’s 50th birthday, raising more than £2,500 for St Wilfrid’s.

But Kerry isn’t stopping there: earlier this year, several of her poems about loss and living well through grief, were featured in The Grief Practice, a workbook that draws on the experiences of those who have been bereaved to help others in the same situation.

‘I like the feeling of giving something back, and I can’t really explain it, but I feel so drawn to St Wilfrid’s.’

Kerry, Kiah and Bradley will be returning for this year’s Kapow, and Kerry has recently joined the St Wilfrid's team as a Host volunteer. She really is Wonder Woman!


St Wilfrid's Kapow takes place Sunday June 23rd, Hampden Park, Eastbourne. Take advantage of our group saver offer and enter three superheroes for just £60 here or phone 01323 434241.