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17 Jul 2018 Shop News

Holmfirth Shop backs Jude Sellmeyer’s Fundraising Challenge

Jude Sellmeyer is a loyal supporter and dedicated ambassador for Kirkwood Hospice following the care her son, Jody, received at the end of his life. Back in June, Jude set off across Europe in a fundraising mission to remember Jody.

Last month, Jude Sellmeyer along with friend, Martin Lynn, set off across Europe on an incredible fundraising mission to remember her beloved son Jody de Vos, who sadly died from Motor Neurone Disease last year, aged just 38.

Riding on a Yamaha XJR motorbike, the pair travelled through nine countries and 16 borders in just ten days, raising an impressive £1,565 to “give back” to Kirkwood Hospice.

Jude and Martin take on a Fundraising mission with a difference


Michaela Statham, Kirkwood Hospice Shop Manager in Holmfirth, heard about Jude’s story and knew she wanted to get involved. Michaela and a team of staff and volunteers set up a beautiful window display to mark Jude and Jody’s story, including tiny details down to a bag of Maltesers, which were Jody’s favourite chocolate.

Holmfirth’s window display got the local community talking and in just two weeks, the shop received £120 in donations from passers-by who were touched by Jude’s story.

Jude Sellmeyer (right) presents a cheque to Shop Manager, Michaela Statham, and Community Fundraiser, Nicola Barber, outside the Shop Window in Holmfirth


Michaela said: “Kirkwood has been amazing for both me and Jude in different ways, but it’s personal for both of us. The personal stories in the shop are just massive. People might not know the Hospice, but they come into our shop all the time and the window is an amazing way of looking into Kirkwood.

“I don’t just work for the shop; I am passionate about Kirkwood Hospice. When I got this job, I was determined to shout out the message about all that we offer.”

Jude is extremely passionate about raising awareness of both Motor Neurone Disease, and her experience with Kirkwood Hospice.

Jude remembers her son, Jody


She said: “Michaela heard my story and totally embraced it to make it Holmfirth’s story. The whole way the window was done was more than I could have ever expected. The story made people stop and think, and it brought the community together.

“Jody loved to travel. He was very spontaneous and loved the sunshine so I immediately thought of a trip around Europe. I wanted to go more on the roads less travelled because that’s what life is about. Every turn of the wheel, and every border crossed, Jody was with me.

“Jody was incredibly brave, incredibly courageous and he always had a smile on his face. The last months of Jody’s life were very tough. He was totally paralysed and the only way he could communicate was with his eyes, via his ‘eyegaze’. But despite this, his eyes always smiled and he maintained his spirit for life. As hard as it is to tell my story, what motivates me to carry on each day is in tribute to Jody’s immense strength and courage.

"Kirkwood has been, and still is, my lifeline.” Jude Sellmeyer

“There’s so many things that go on in the Hospice that people don’t know about and I don’t think people realise how lucky we are to have Kirkwood Hospice in our community. The perception is that Hospices are just for cancer, but there’s so much more. The Hospice is there for any life-limiting illness, at any age and that’s the message we need to get out there.

“If we didn’t have the Hospice in Jody’s care journey, I don’t know where we would have been. Since Jody died, they have continued to be immensely supportive and given me so much more than they realise. Kirkwood has been, and still is, my lifeline.”

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