Q&A with Very Special Kids Hospice nurse Jodie Lapthorne

In the lead up to the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge from 22 to 23 May we interviewed Jodie Lapthorne, a Very Special Kids Hospice nurse, about what inspires her and the advice she has for 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge participants.

Q: Tell us about your role
A: My role involves many things from giving out medications to giving out cuddles. It is a big responsibility to be caring for someone else’s child and often they cannot speak for themselves. I have to be especially vigilant in attending to each child’s needs both physically and emotionally while they are in my care.

Q: Why do you think access to the hospice is important?
A: I have great respect for the families we support. They work 24/7 with no overtime and no routine breaks. Very Special Kids provide that break through our respite service. We provide the light at the end of the tunnel after a torrid time of illness, hospitalisation, family turmoil or tragedy. We allow the other siblings to simply have time alone with mum and dad, or mum and dad to have time as husband and wife, or time alone for no reason at all except to sleep! These simple things that most of us take for granted, can be life changing and life saving.

Q: What inspires you to work at Very Special Kids?
A: The opportunity to make a real tangible difference to lives of whole families. I love seeing families grow along the way. However, at times the journey we travel with families is a sad one. Very Special Kids provides the opportunity for the whole family to be together at the end of their child’s life with the support of nursing staff in our home-like environment. As difficult as this is, I find it a privilege to be part of. Each child and their family leaves their mark on my life forever.

Q: Do you have any advice for 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge participants?
A: By fundraising to support the hospice you help us to continue this support for families. Very Special Kids recognises that for a child to be cared for, the whole family must be cared for. This is what we do so well.
So keep training and keep fundraising so that you can be a positive influence on their lives too!

From 22 to 23 May more than 1,000 participants will run the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge to raise funds for children in 24 hour care at Very Special Kids Hospice. To sponsor a runner visit