Hospice receives $1.3 million gift from marathon runner

A marathon runner’s dream to donate a record-breaking $1 million to Cayman HospiceCare came true Friday morning. 

Derek Haines, a retired Cayman Islands Police officer and long-distance runner at age 65, presented the $1.35 million donation to HospiceCare chairman Chris Duggan and director of operations and development Danielle Coleman, in the company of special guests, Governor Helen Kilpatrick, architect and Rotarian John Doak, and Rotarians Brian Hurley and Chris Johnson at the governor’s residence. 

Previously, Mr. Haines sought pledges on the organization’s behalf, and in exchange ran six marathons throughout 2014, starting with the Paris Marathon in early April. He also ran in London, Spain, San Francisco, New York City, and finally back home in the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon in December. 

The money will assist with building a new facility for the nonprofit organization that toils year-round to provide end-of-life care free of charge to people in the Cayman Islands. 

“It is a big day for us, all the running and collecting is done and I am happy to be handing over the check,” Mr. Haines said. 

“Chris Johnson, who has been with me as treasurer and full time supporter from the initial stages, and the governor as well who has been the patron – it is just fantastic to see it all come together.” Mr. Haines said, “It has been [a] fantastic community effort and I am proud of the Cayman community and for everyone for joining in.” 

HospiceCare’s Ms. Coleman said, “There is something to be said about the human spirit – the strength, the determination and the grace with which we are capable of meeting challenges. Derek Haines, with the support of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, has shown us what all of us are capable of doing when we commit to passion: be it run marathons, spark change, or ensure human dignity in all stages of life. 

“We will be forever grateful not only for this sizable financial contribution but also for the awareness of HospiceCare which Derek has raised and how he was able to inspire a nation to do more, do better and go further.” 

Ms. Coleman also took the opportunity to thank Derek and everyone at the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman for the extraordinary donation. “The funds raised will cover a large percentage of the structural costs for our new multi-purpose building. We hope to break ground soon and this reality has been made possible by Derek’s unwavering commitment,” she said. 

HospiceCare hopes to break ground on the new construction very soon. “It is really a dream to have the administration and residential as one,” Ms. Coleman said. 

Acknowledging the donation, Governor Kilpatrick said she was pleased to participate in the check presentation because it was such a great occasion. “The fundraising has been a magnificent effort, [but] actually handing over the check and starting building is what it is all about,” she said. 

Architect John Doak, who is working on the building plans of the new hospice, said the aim is to create a site that can celebrate a person’s life. “It is going to be a happy place and have the feel of living in a garden,” he said. 

The project will consist of two buildings, the hospice facility and administration building, spanning 3,500 square feet. “The building will have the look of a Cayman-style veranda home with spectacular settings,” Mr. Doak said. 

Derek Haines, left, presents the record-breaking $1.35 million donation to HospiceCare chairman Chris Duggan, far right, in the company of architect and Rotarian John Doak, Rotarian Brian Hurley, HospiceCare’s Danielle Coleman, Governor Helen Kilpatrick and Rotarian Chris Johnson at the governor’s residence. – Photo: Jewel Levy