A woman from Ilkley is preparing to take on a thrilling zip wire next month to raise funds for the charity that cared for her mother in her final days.
Jo Shulver Wilson, who now lives in Suffolk, will be braving ‘Zip the Cow’ on the weekend of the 22-23 July, which will see will her walk up to the top of the iconic ‘cow’ at the Cow and Calf Rocks, before whizzing 270m down Ilkley Moor at speeds of up to 35mph.
She is taking on the exhilarating challenge in memory of her mother, Jean Wilson, who received end-of-life care from Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope before she died last month aged 79.
“My dearly loved mother was sadly diagnosed with terminal cancer in March this year and received palliative care at home in Ilkley from Sue Ryder Nurses for a few weeks, before making the decision to spend her final days at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice,” explained Jo.
“Throughout her time at the hospice, the staff always treated her with kindness, dignity and respect, and made sure that her last days were as comfortable as possible.
“After my mother had passed, there was one moment that really stood out to me. I realised I’d left my glasses in her room but didn’t want to go back in as I’d said my goodbyes. The doctor offered to go and get them for me, and even though she had passed he still knocked on the door before going in, which I thought was just such a huge sign of respect.”
To say thank you for the care and support her mother received, and to help ensure others receive the care she did, Jo decided to face her fear of heights and sign up for Zip the Cow.
“Although my father is in his eighties, he’s still an adrenaline junkie and he did Zip the Cow in 2022 to raise money for Sue Ryder. Little did we know at that time that a few months later my mother would become unwell and we would have lent so heavily on the charity.
“I have a huge phobia of heights, but I am so determined to do it. When my mother was in the hospice I told her I had signed up and her words were ‘if you don’t do it you’ll be really disappointed’ – which was her way of saying ‘if you don’t do it I’ll be really disappointed’!”
Jo shares that she will be taking on the zip line around the same time as some of the nurses that cared for her mother.
“I found out that some of the nurses had signed up to do Zip the Cow on the morning of Sunday 23 July and I made sure to book my time slot around the same time, which will be really special.
“My mother was an absolutely devoted wife, mother, granny and friend. She was often described as gracious and a real lady, and that’s exactly how the nurses treated her. All my family will be forever grateful for that, and I want to do this so badly for them.
Andrew Wood, Community Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, said: “We’d like to thank Jo for signing up for Zip the Cow to raise vital funds for Sue Ryder in memory of her mum. It really is a fantastic event which provides the opportunity for families and friends to come together, try something new and share a truly memorable experience.
“We’re reliant on supporters generously donating and fundraising for us, and every penny raised from this event will help us to be there when it matters for patients and their families going through the most difficult times of their lives.”
Places are still available for people to take part in Zip the Cow on the weekend of the 22-23 July. Sign up at sueryder.org/zipthecow.
To donate to Jo’s fundraising page, visit: https://jean-wilson-1944-2023.muchloved.com/.
For more information on Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice visit sueryder.org/manorlands.