Dear Willow Foundation,

My husband and I are writing this letter to say a very heartfelt thank you for your generosity of a special day that you gave us last year.

Just 10 days after the birth of our second child, my husband had surgery for suspected testicular cancer.  As we waited for the biopsy results, we never expected it to be anything serious, so were stunned when the results came back, confirming it was cancer.  With a new born and toddler, trying to continue with life, recover from labour, surgery and attending oncology appointments, there was no time to catch our breath and process any of what had happened, good or bad.  

As my husband had gone to the doctors early, the prognosis was good, but he was still advised to have a dose of chemotherapy to reduce the chance of the cancer returning.  

Sitting in the waiting room and watching my husband being hooked up to receive the chemotherapy is an image that will never leave me, but thankfully he wasn’t too poorly afterwards and was back at work soon after.

During one of the many oncology appointments, we went into the Macmillan centre where a lovely volunteer told us about Willow Special Days and asked us what would we like to request for our application.  As we were still in a complete state of shock over the diagnosis, we thought a night away for just the two of us would be absolutely amazing.  We never thought that the application would be accepted, but then my husband received an email to say that we were going to go to Bath for two nights, have a meal paid for and stay in a beautiful Spa Hotel!

This trip gave us time as a couple to just be. We fell asleep as soon as we sat down in the spa area and just relaxed. I don’t think either of us realised just how much we needed some time away, but thanks to Willow and some lovely family members to look after the children, this is what we had.

Words can't really express how thankful we are for those days away.  When a loved one receives a diagnosis of cancer, you almost go into a bubble of disbelief and try extra hard to carry on with life as normal. As much as you try not to, it’s hard to not fear the worst, so having a break away to look forward to was such a blessing.  What you give families is something that all the money in the world can’t buy: memories - happy, joyful memories in a time where life feels particularly hard.

So on behalf of my husband and myself, thank you. Two small, simple words, but with so much meaning behind them.  You are all incredible people who give families hope, love and laughter in times where they are so desperately needed.

Thank you again.

 

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