Derek Haines, HospiceCare approach $1 million finish line

The Cayman Islands’ own “Marathon Man” Derek Haines is gazing down the homestretch of his monumental effort to raise $1 million to build a new facility for Cayman HospiceCare.

What Mr. Haines has accomplished since early April – completing four marathons in Paris, London, Spain and San Francisco, and earning $700,000 for the charity in the process – is already most impressive. With two races left to run – in Dublin and finally back home in Grand Cayman – and $300,000 remaining to reach the goal, now it is up to the Cayman community to band together and provide the emotional and financial boost Mr. Haines and the charity need.

Mr. Haines’s cause is a most worthy one indeed. HospiceCare is a model charity whose mission is to provide end-of-life care, free of charge, to people who are dying. As many in Cayman are aware, the organization’s efforts not only have a tremendous positive impact on clients during their final moments, but perhaps more so on the friends and family members who remain by their sides to wish them farewell.

The $1 million that Mr. Haines is raising is devoted toward a new, and desperately needed, facility for HospiceCare that will be built on land near Camana Bay that has been donated by the Dart Group, the current employer of Mr. Haines, who is a retired long-time Cayman police officer. It’s worth noting that every penny donated to the cause is going to HospiceCare – as Mr. Haines foots the bill for his own expenses.

The new building will allow HospiceCare to provide “in-patient care” to its clients, and will also save the charity some $72,000 in annual rent.

Some of the groups that have pitched in to assist Mr. Haines and HospiceCare include Dart (and subsidiaries), the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Massive Group, Massive Media, Chris Johnson Associates Ltd., John Doak Architecture, Digicel, LIME, KMedia Graphx, ICOA, Precision Solar, Sol Distributors and the Jacques Scott Group.

Also getting involved are organizers of local running events, including Deputy Governor Franz Manderson’s 5K challenge, the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association Co-operative Credit Union 5K (held this Saturday) and the Adventist Church 10K.

While the $1 million goal is by far his most ambitious, Mr. Haines has long used his love for running as a vehicle to raise money for charities, including raising more than $100,000 for a cancer-treatment unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital in 2012 and $37,000 for Feed Our Future last year.

Although he’s logged more than 100 miles of road and $700,000 on his pedometer this year, Mr. Haines has a busy fall ahead of him. He gets to take a break to celebrate his 66th birthday on Oct. 22, but then he’s back on the road for the Dublin Marathon on Oct. 27, before returning for his sixth and final race, the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon on Dec. 7.

Mr. Haines has proven time and again that he possesses the requisite physical and mental fortitude to pass these athletic challenges. It is time for the Cayman community also to rise to the occasion, and be there at the finish line to crown Mr. Haines with laurels of victory, in the form of a new home for HospiceCare.

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