Sebastian’s Special Day story

In 2016 Willow supported 1,279 seriously ill young adults through our Special Days; Sebastian’s was one of them. Happily married and with young children, no one in Sebastian, or his wife Laura’s, immediate family had ever been affected by a serious illness until August 2015 when Sebastian received the devastating news that he had a brain tumor.

With a loving family around him for support, he was determined to make some life-long memories for his family’s future. Here is Sebastian’s story.

Before my diagnosis my family and I were pretty care free, we did what we wanted, enjoyed a comfortable life and we probably took a lot for granted. When the hospital found the tumor in my brain it knocked us for six completely. I underwent surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible and to my relief, was told that all of it had been removed.

We carried on with our life only to be told that my tumor was the highest grade for this kind of cancer and it would inevitably return. We were told we had years but after only 12 months it came back, this time with a much shorter prognosis. I had months to live.

After finding out that it had returned, we came to terms with the diagnosis a lot quicker. We started looking at the realities of life with me not being around for too much longer. Since that point of recurrence we’ve savored every minute we can.

We have been on meaningful trips, seen extended family as much as possible and spent precious time together as a family. My wife has started taking photos of everything we do with the hash tag of #MakingMemories – I don’t want my children to forget who I am when I’m gone.

My Special Day made such a difference to my day-to-day life. It gave my family something positive to look forward to in the darkest of times.


In early 2016 we went to Florida and visited Harry Potter World at Universal Studios just after my radiotherapy had finished. However, once I started chemotherapy going abroad was not really an option anymore. Doing something as a family was important to me, as it would be something we would all remember and ensure we had plenty of memories, especially when I become too ill to enjoy these types of activities.

When I found out about Willow I decided the perfect way to spend my Special Day was with my wife and children as they had all been brilliant throughout my treatment. We decided to go to the Harry Potter Studios in Hertfordshire and had an amazing day. Looking back it wasn’t just the actual trip that pulled us closer together, it was all the planning for it as well.

We haven’t stopped talking about our day since then. We took lots of photos, many of which are now framed on various walls around our house reminding us of how special our day was. We will always be grateful to Willow for giving us memories that will never be forgotten.