My brother Robin...
Robin was diagnosed with Melanoma cancer when he was 28yrs old. He had a dark mole on his neck and went to the Doctors to get it checked out after I had persuaded him. He had a major operation on his neck and then a skin graft. The doctors were happy with the result and gave him the all clear after five years of check-ups.
In 2015,10 years later, Robin had some moles appear on his leg and sure enough it was back. These were cut out but unfortunately when he went into have a CT scan, they found he also had a brain tumour. This was operated on and confirmed that it was secondary cancer. He was selected to be put onto a research treatment of Immunotherapy and was looked after at the Royal Marsden in London. He then had to have one of his testicles removed as there was another tumour. He was in and out of The Beacon Centre at Musgrove for 19 months spending 6 months solid in there once! The nurses were absolutely amazing and supported him so much. His consultant Clare was in constant touch with The Royal Marsden and did everything she could for him.
His liver blood count results kept going really high and at these points we didn’t know if he would make it. There were a lot of highs and lows and we tried to always be there for him! His two passions were to be outdoors beating on the shoot and he also loved to cook. When he was staying with us, he would always try to push himself to cook as it kept him going and when he was in hospital, I had to take food into him as there was no way he would eat the hospital food!
After his last CT scan they found another tumour on his liver and was given 12 weeks to live. He was a true fighter and never ever gave up. He would always mask the pain he was suffering and always find the good in people, a true fighter and an amazing brother. He finally lost his fight to cancer on 22nd September 2017 surrounded by his wife and 3 sons. He had tears rolling down his cheeks as he passed away.
A PERSONAL BATTLE...
I was diagnosed in 2009 at the age of 26 with Breast Cancer. After a horrendous year or surgery, chemo and radiotherapy I found out my fiancé and I were having a miracle baby. We had been told there was really no chance we would be parents after everything I had been through. Just 5 months into the pregnancy I started to suffer with excruciating back pain. The doctors just put it down to normal pregnancy pain but it left me having to use a wheelchair and towards the end bed bound.
In September 2010 I gave birth via C-section to a perfect baby boy we named Devon. Our happiness soon turned to misery when 6 days later I was rushed back into hospital where they found not only did I have MRSA from my C-section but also my cancer had returned in my bones in my pelvis and my back was broken in 3 places. I was soon back to surgery and treatment. My fiancé Graham and I had only been engaged for a couple of days when I was given my first diagnosis and we were desperate to get married but we had to keep putting our plans on hold because of the cancer and the treatment schedule. I had also been so ill that we weren’t working so much and money was tight, so marriage was well and truly on hold.
As the cancer was now in my bones it was classed as terminal and I was given an average of 5 years to live, this made us want to get married even more and time wasn’t on our side. In early 2012 a lady from the town where I grew up saw my story in a local newspaper where I was doing some charity work. She said she wanted to help us get married for as little money as possible by asking suppliers to donate their time and expertise for free. Within days she had so much of it organised. It got me thinking that there must be others in the same position as us who desperately wanted to marry before it was too late. Having been a wedding planner before my diagnosis and with my now experience of illness, I thought that maybe I could start a charity. Within just a few days The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation was launched with the sole aim to organise and fund weddings for people with a terminal or life limiting illness.
Naomi Thomas B.E.M
Naomi & Laura, the event organisers, can be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org