“We met Chris and Ursula from the Children with Cancer Fund when Ruby was going through her second round of cancer treatment.
Previously, Ruby had been diagnosed with a brain tumour, Medulloblastoma, when she was two years old, she had to have two surgeries, including full removal of the tumour, and completed nearly a years worth of intense chemotherapy. Unfortunately, after being in remission, Ruby relapsed eight months later.
This meant more surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. As a family we were besides ourselves and felt hopeless. Besides the shock of another diagnosis, the trauma of seeing our daughter go through treatment was something we wouldn’t wish on anyone. It was a very dark time for us as a family.
Our local nurse put us in touch with CWCF and soon enough we got an email from them asking whether we would like anything, they said everyone in the family including my then 7-year-old son can have a wish that would be granted. Previously, I hadn’t thought of asking charities for help as I hoped the treatment would be over quickly and life would go back to normal. Well, little did I know the difference other people can make to your own family and journey. It is true when people say the kindness of strangers can be overwhelming at times. CWCF granted us all our wishes, and we went to meet Chris and Ursula, the kindness and welcome nature were reassuring and our situation was very familiar to them. Having a child with cancer can seem very isolating and although friends and family do their best to support, it’s very daunting for everyone involved.
We quickly felt at home and decided to tentatively dip our feet into the social events they organised. It was good to feel normal amongst other families going through the same situation, there weren’t exhausting conversations about what if’s, time and energy weren’t spent reassuring other people that everything was going to be okay, when quite plainly it wasn’t. Time was spent in solidarity with other parents, whilst the children including their siblings had fun, and lots of fun!
Through CWCF our family went to Drusillas, Target Sports, the Isle of Wight, every year we go to the Christmas pantomime and their amazing Christmas parties. My daughter looks forward to the pantomimes every year! Amazing memories have been made and ones that we treasure. Amongst the other memories of sadness, grief and fear there are hopeful, happy and joyful ones. As a family, we are grateful for the hard work that CWCF do and we know how much of a difference it made to our family when we needed it the most.
Ruby has done extremely well, although she still has to undergo quite a lot of medical treatment and needs support, she has been in remission for over 7 years now. She is vibrant, zany and full of character! It’s true when they say it takes a village to raise a child, through our experiences with Chris and Ursula, the volunteers, other families our children have learnt the difference kindness, and a warm smile can make. My advice to any parents going through a similar situation would be to not fight this alone, you will need emotional support so you can support your own children and CWCF has been a safe haven for our family in times of need.”