A lasting impact

When Joseph, 32 from Belfast, received the news that he was eligible for a Special Day, he didn't realise just how special it would be...

"I was three years old when I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Growing up I didn't know any different, my daily exercises and regular hospital visits became part of my normal routine.  It’s a genetic condition so my sister has cystic fibrosis too - it’s really hard for the whole family, especially for parents to know both their children are living with this life shortening disease.  Although medical research means that life expectancy is rising, I still try to make the most of all the time I have.

My fiancé and I had a terrible year when our third but only positive IVF cycle resulted in a miscarriage.  Although cystic fibrosis is a lung condition it effects a lot of other things, including fertility.  We both struggled with the loss and Christmas was really tough on us.  But shortly after, we received the brilliant news that I was eligible for a Special Day.

This helped me and my partner to have a new focus and we allowed ourselves to get excited about life again.  We started to look forward to the future for the first time in a while."

" It was an experience that we will both cherish forever "

Joseph

"I was so happy and thankful I was going to see my favourite football team play but I didn’t realise just how special it would be. Every detail was taken care of – flights, hotel accommodation and tickets to the match, we were even lucky enough to be given full hospitality which included food & drink and some fantastic seats.

Our trip to watch Manchester City will have a lasting impact on our lives. We were able to regain a part of us that we had lost and start making even more precious memories like we did on the trip.

I had no expectations of my Special Day but the whole weekend was breath-taking. It was an experience that we will both cherish forever. We can't thank Willow enough for making it all possible - there simply isn't enough words to express how much this trip helped us and how grateful we are.

Willow is doing fantastic work making people’s lives easier when it's needed the most."

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