Starlight Walk 2012: St Luke’s Hospice fundraiser backed by The Star - SLIDESHOW

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EVERYONE had a story to tell.

As the dusk fell, 1,200 people strode out from Endcliffe Park, united by a very special Sheffield institution.

St Luke's Starlight Walk 2012 held at Endcliffe Park, Sheffield.

St Luke's Starlight Walk 2012 held at Endcliffe Park, Sheffield.

Paper lanterns lit the 5km route along the Porter Brook, through the trees to Trippet Park, Whitely Woods and on to Forge Dam.

The marchers - brought together for St Luke’s Hospice’s second Starlight Walk - wore T-shirts of white and blue, and on each was pinned a simple message.

SLIDESHOW: Press the play button to watch our slideshow of Starlight Walk 2012 photos taken by The Star’s photographer, Sarah Washbourn.

PHOTOS: You can order photographs from The Star shop in York Street, Sheffield or Sunnybar, Doncaster. Or buy The Star’s photos online - CLICK HERE.

“I’m walking for Beryl,” read one sign, attached to the shirt of Keith Booler, aged 74.

“There are 29 of us here today, and we’re walking for my wife,” said Keith, from Gleadless, a father of eight, grandfather of 18 and great-grandfather of 15.

“Beryl passed away last year, at the age of 74.

“She had bowel cancer and there was nothing the doctors could do for her.

“But we had her for two-and-a-half more years, and St Luke’s did everything they could for her.

“Beryl didn’t want to go to hospital, so St Luke’s helped me keep her at home and supported me.

“She died with dignity, at home, where she wanted to be.”

St Luke’s, in Whirlow, has been helping family’s like Beryl’s for 41 years.

It was the first hospice outside London when it was founded in 1971, and today supports 1,500 people a year, whether in their own homes or in the hospice in Whirlow.

The charity gets £2 million from the NHS every year, but needs to raise another £4m from donations to keep its doors open.

Gill Edwards, 56, from Woodhouse, is suffering from cancer of the kidney and the stomach, and visits the hospice’s day centre once a week.

The retired Marks & Spencer shop assistant said: “St Luke’s have been wonderful.

“I know there’s a lot of sadness, but it’s been a very good place for me.

“The nurses are absolutely brilliant - they are so caring. And I love taking part in the craft sessions. I look forward to visiting every week.”

Gill was pushed along the route in her wheelchair by an entourage of 21 women, including daughters Lucy and Laura and friends and relatives.

Behind them, a group of 12 walkers were marching for Sharon Rider, 53, from Hillsborough, who passed away just a month ago, on April 6, after a battle with ovarian cancer.

Her daughter Keeley, 28, said: “The care she received at St Luke’s was excellent. It was so peaceful for her.”

n See The Star on Wednesday, for a big announcement about the future of St Luke’s Hospice.