Mahesh’s Special Day story

Mahesh was just 23 when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. He applied for a Special Day and asked Willow for a trip to London with his family, he wanted a chance to forget about his illness and enjoy being with those he loved. Willow arranged a weekend full of sightseeing and theatre for Mahesh and his family.

In May 2012, at the age of 23, I was dealt with the devastating news that I had contracted bone cancer, a rare and aggressive form of the disease. My diagnosis came as crushing blow even more so because I developed the same cancer when I was eight-years old, in April 1998, when my family’s life was torn apart as I was forced to undergo fourteen months of intensive chemotherapy and two major surgeries.

I cherish the memories of my Special Day


After being free from the disease for fourteen years, my family and I had put it all behind us. I graduated with a law degree in 2011, and was looking forward to moving onto the next stage in my life. To then be forced to have to relive the disease all over again was extremely difficult to comprehend.  From June 2012 – April 2013 I underwent intensive chemotherapy, radiotherapy and complex surgery. Fortunately in April 2013, I finished my treatment and began the process of piecing my life back together.

Moving on proved difficult because I genuinely did not where to start. Throughout my illness, I found that my family and I had become institutionalised; our lives dictated by my treatment plan, hospital visits and rehabilitation. One of the key factors in breaking free from this was the Willow Foundation. Thanks to Willow and our ‘Special Day’ we found a release and an opportunity to create good memories from a very difficult time.

Willow organised a special getaway in London for me, my mum and my auntie; where we stayed in a 5 star hotel, watched The Phantom of the Opera in the West End and enjoyed the sights of London.
Our Special Day helped to signal an end to my journey through illness. We had been shackled by illness for 12 months, so to be given the opportunity to finally escape home and experience some sort of normality (that’s not to say that I stay in 5 star hotels often!) was an incredible feeling. I cherish the memories of my Special Day because it was the first time in a long while where my family and I felt at ease and without a worry in the world.