Willow’s Special Days are so much more than just a day and their importance and impact cannot be overestimated. The Special Day provides an uplifting and positive experience to be shared with a partner, parents, siblings, children or close friends. From the moment of application and the anticipation of the day to come, to the excitement of the day itself, a Special Day creates memories that are treasured forever.
Off road adventures
Before my diagnosis aged 28 I was a very active person. My partner Fergal and I enjoy lots of outdoor activities and often went rock climbing and off-road driving. I was an Army Officer for six years, and was down at the gym three or four times a week. Fitness has always been a big part of my life.
I am 32 now, and have had breast cancer twice. I was 29 when I was first diagnosed. I was trying to remember what life was like before I had cancer and the very sad truth is that I can’t.
A special place in my heart
When I was first told about Willow’s Special Days, my first thought was ‘let’s do something as a family’ and so myself, my husband and our three children decided we’d like a weekend away in Edinburgh.
A renewed lust for life
Before my brain tumour I had been living the carefree life of a student enjoying the independence of living away from home and studying at university.
Being dad again
Five years ago I was working as an electrician and doing sports commentary on local radio at the weekends. We had no children, enjoyed regular holidays and were pretty carefree. Life was 'normal'.
Hope for better times
It was in December 2006 when my life was changed forever. My consultant gave me the most dreadful and frightening news that I had Osteosarcoma, an aggressive cancer in my jaw bone.
Shane was living with organ failure and, after two failed transplants and constant dialysis, life was a battle. Shane wanted to create a lasting memory for him and his son should the worst happen.
Group days take off
In April 2012, Willow’s newest service took off with the launch of group Special Day experiences. As the first of a programme of positive and uplifting shared experiences for young adults with serious and life-changing illness, Willow was thrilled to be able to offer an exclusive flying experience with the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.