A WOMAN who lost both of her parents to cancer is training to become a nurse specialising in end-of-life care.

Forty-year-old Stephanie Clark, of Oswaldtwistle, said taking up the three-year diploma at the University of Central Lancashire was ‘the next logical step,’ having spent many years caring for her grandparents, and then mum and dad, Joan and Leonard Spaans.

Joan died eight years years ago of breast cancer, and Leonard died five years ago today of oesophageal cancer.

Stephanie, who has previously done taxi work, said: “Caring for people is what I’ve always done, and this is just the next step.

“I’ve chosen to do adult nursing, but the actual plan is to go into end of life care, because I feel like I’ve got a lot of empathy for the patients and families.

“I actually did some volunteering work on the chemotherapy ward at the Royal Blackburn Hospital , and spoke to one man about how his son was coping.

“I’ve been in that situation and could explain that his son would have been feeling helpless and frightened.”

Stephanie is due to finish her course in two years’ time, and will be doing work placements in the East Lancashire area.

She said: “Five years ago my dad Len was admitted to East Lancashire Hospice to get pain relief for his oesophageal cancer under control.

“I had heard of the hospice before, but never had any dealings with it.

“The people at the hospice were amazing and it was a very peaceful and tranquil place for my dad to be. He loved being there as opposed to the hospital. Unfortunately the day before he was due to come home, he took a turn for the worse. The staff were amazing and knew exactly what was happening.

“They kept him free from pain and the family were able to be with him in his last moments in a calm and private place.

“I said that I wanted to raise money for the hospice ever since.”