Hike for Hospice Heroes: Tracey Johnston

His pain was becoming unbearable. After a long and difficult hospital stay, Tracey Johnston’s father, Tom, was ready to move to Hospice Peterborough where he could receive advanced pain management support and a comfortable bed for his life’s final moments

While Tom was only there for one week, Tracey recalls it being the “most magical place in the world.” It was a place where Tom could be surrounded by his large family. A place where he could keep his bright and spacious room’s mini fridge stocked with beer for when his buddies came to visit. A place where he could play his music loud, the way he liked it, during a relaxing soak in the spa tub. Where he could be kept warm under a colourful handmade quilt. A place where he could “not feel like he was dying,” Tracey remembers.

Tracey recounts her dad’s final moments vividly. Gathering there at the bedside, she was joined by her mom, her sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The playlist of Tom’s favourite songs on Tracey’s iPhone appropriately switched to “Come Together” by the Beatles, his favourite band. A longtime umpire in life, Tom Johnston made three final breaths. And then he was out.

Though it was hard, Tracey refers to it as “the most beautiful ending for him.”


Pictured above: Tracey Johnston and family gather at the Kenner Collegiate racing track for their 2023 Hike, remembering Tracey's father Tom Johnston. 


Each year since his death in 2022, Tom’s family gathers at the Kenner Collegiate racing track to walk laps as part of Hike for Hospice. Tracey sets up a table with photos of her dad, snacks, and water, inviting family and friends to join in at a pace comfortable to them, sharing stories and memories of Tom along the way. Last year, TJ’s Family Team was Hike’s top fundraiser, raising close to $5,000 in memory of Tom. “I don’t know what we would have done if Hospice wasn’t there,” Tracey shares, adding: “it’s a very important part of our community.”


Pictured above: A table is set up to remember Tom Johnston. 


Join hundreds of Hike participants that have contributed their time and efforts over the years in supporting Hospice Peterborough by participating in Hike for Hospice 2024!