Nicola’s Special Day story

Nicola was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer during the prime time of her life. After such a terrible year, 2017 finished on a high for her and her family.

Life as a full time mum had always been busy and I was racing around trying to fit everything in. Life came to an abrupt halt when I found a lump the weekend of my birthday. I was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer in January 2017. It was the worst possible start to the year.

Having never really taken time off sick, I was suddenly left without work and life soon revolved around my treatment. I was forced to slow down. I worried that cancer would place a massive burden on my children, then aged eight and ten. I didn’t want the innocence of their childhood taken away. Quickly, though, I learnt how brave and resilient they could be. They coped with it much better than the adults did.

I worried that cancer would place a massive burden on the children and take the innocence away from their childhood.


When I was handed a Special Day application form whilst I was having chemo by one of the nurses in the hospital, I couldn’t quite believe it. I had to stop myself from crying, something I had done too much of during the past year. I was so touched that people would raise money so someone like me could have an unforgettable day out.

My Special Day came after all of my big treatments had finished. It gave me something to look forward to whilst I was having my chemo, surgery and radiotherapy. The closer the day got the more excited I became. It really did keep me going through everything.

My husband and I managed to keep the Special Day a secret from the children. Everyone that knows me can’t believe that I managed to keep it a secret from the children. It was well worth seeing the surprise on their faces when we told them the morning of my Special Day. They couldn’t believe it and neither could we.

Willow arranged for us to go to Twickenham to watch England v Argentina. Rugby is a huge part of our family life. It was a chance for me to say thank you for everything my husband and children had done for me, a chance to have some real quality family time together. We had an overnight stay in a hotel, which the children described as having a big family sleepover.

After what has been a tricky year my Special Day showed us all that having cancer isn’t all doom and gloom; good things can come out of it. People do selfless, kind things, they are true heroes.