When the unthinkable happens …. how would you cope?
Nothing could have prepared Jan and Keith for the severe challenges they now face. Jan’s life today just could not be more different than before her operation. Before that day, everything she did was not only possible, but also reasonably straightforward. Now almost everything is vastly more difficult and a lot of things she cannot do at all. The chance of building a new life for herself depends largely on clever but expensive technology, and help from a dedicated full-time professional carer. We can’t bring Jan’s life back for her but we can do everything possible to make it as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. That is where we can all step in:
Please Donate Now and help us to provide Jan with much needed specialised equipment and services. You will be taken to our GoFundMe page. GoFundMe is one of the best known fundraising organisations in the world. They have raised more funds than any other organisation – $5 billion to date. They charge us no platform fees but if you donate, you will be asked to make a small contribution. This is at your discretion and you can choose how much you want to pay in addition to your donation. On that page you will find a link to bring you back here if you want to read more about Jan’s story.
Jan has been an active and talented sportswoman all her life. In her schooldays in Stranraer she played hockey for Scotland schools, and later on during her career she played hockey and squash to a high standard and represented the Royal Air Force in competitions. Latterly, she concentrated on golf which became her passion. She and Keith had also joined a golf club in Cambridgeshire and came on golfing holidays to Spain.
Determination to succeed is a great part of Jan’s character. She joined the RAF straight from school, at a time when being female in the RAF was an added challenge in a virtually exclusively male environment. Slight of stature and with elfin good looks, she rose to the challenge and held down a variety of important and prestigious posts during her 23-year career, working her way up through the ranks until she retired as a Squadron Leader.
Keith joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 21 and served in Northern Ireland, Germany and various units in the UK before attaining the rank of Sergeant and being posted to RAF Hospital Ely. It was here that he met Jan when she was in her early twenties.
They shared a passion for sport. He has played squash, badminton, volleyball, football and cricket. Finally, after encouragement from Jan, he took up golf at the age of 40. Keith was ever supportive of Jan’s career and, after he retired, he moved around with Jan in her various postings which took them to Germany and all over the UK.
And together they …
…. spent much of their married life travelling around various RAF bases for 17 years until they decided to retire to Spain where they could indulge their mutual love of golf. Here they joined Lauro Golf Club near Alhaurin in the south of Spain and became high profile and much loved members.
Keith was content to achieve a handicap of 9 but Jan, being Jan, was constantly striving to improve on her handicap of 10 and with persistent practice she brought her handicap down to 5.
Nothing better symbolises the life Jan and Keith had together before her injuries, than their “Birdie Tree”. Both keen golfers they had a strong, but good-natured rivalry, and kept a record of the birdies they had for each round of golf throughout the year – a poignant reminder of something they will never be able to do again.
They also belonged to Los Cantarranas Golf Society (the Singing Frogs) which plays at Lauro every Wednesday and Jan finally realised her ambition to become Captain in January 2018. Many members are of the opinion that she was one of the finest Captains the society has ever had, with her sparkling personality, drive and enthusiasm. Her leadership ended abruptly last October when she entered hospital for an operation which she thought would have her playing again in a few of months.
Jan is a well-known and much loved member of the local community as well as the golfing scene. She learned Spanish to a high level and taught English to local Spanish children after school. She was always helping others. For example, she appreciated that not everyone was as good a golfer as she was, and that we all have to start from somewhere. So she began to encourage beginners – especially ladies – starting what became known as Jan’s Tarts, giving women the confidence to play in mixed groups.
Bad things happen to the nicest people. Over the years, Jan and Keith have supported other people and each other, but now need help themselves to face a demanding and difficult future. We are determined to help Jan get the best care available and build a new life for herself. Please help us to do this by donating – THANK YOU SO MUCH.