Children With Cancer Fund (Polegate)
5 Western Avenue, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 6EP Tel: 01323 488561
firstname.lastname@example.org Registered Charity No.1110644
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'Amazing' Maisie's Story
is a letter that we received from Maisie's mum:
Maisie’s Story So Far
When my Mum died in 2003, 7 weeks after diagnosis of Ovarian cancer, I honestly thought that I would never experience such pain and distress ever again. However, this paled into insignificance when compared to the experience of being told that your 5 year old, precious only daughter, had leukaemia.
Maisie had not been well on and off for a number of weeks. After 3 trips to A&E, 2 trips to the Doctor, a referral to the Marsden that stated ‘there was not an oncology related problem’, a great deal of ‘assertive not letting go’ from Dominic and I, a horrendous week of 6 canulas, blood tests, a blood transfusion and eventually a bone marrow aspirate following a 10 hour wait in hospital at St Georges, Maisie was finally diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on Thursday 5 May 2011. Our normal world stopped and it was then the surreal world of having a child with cancer began.
When the words were said, ’ I am so sorry to have to tell you that our fears have been confirmed and Maisie has leukaemia’ I thought my heart would break . It was all a blur after that and we were whisked to the Royal Marsden where the treatment began.
It is now August and the 5 May seems a lifetime ago, time has gone on a go slow, possibly because it is now all about the next phase of treatment and what is happening next. Maisie has been brilliant and we call her ‘Amazing Maisie’. Friends say how brave we are being but frankly as a parent you do not get any choice, you absolutely CANNOT let your child know how you are feeling. Being introduced to the Marsden was a shock in so many ways, firstly having to experience your child going through very invasive, aggressive treatment and also being surrounded by very, very sick children, you could not get away from the tragedy of it all. However, what was simply amazing was, and is, the sheer resilience of our precious children. They are absolutely awe inspiring in the way they just get on with it. There is a great deal of talk in the newspapers about the bravery of our soldiers in Afghanistan and rightly so, however, I have never witnessed such bravery as that of parents going through their worst nightmare and that of innocent children dealing with what most of us adults simply could not cope with.
Before diagnosis Maisie was a bubbly, bright and out going 5 year old. Thankfully she is managing to retain most of that although her confidence has been affected. Best of all, she has always had a beautiful smile and she still manages to brighten up our day with her lovely beaming face on a regular basis despite what she is going through. We unfortunately had a ‘very unlucky’ start to things when Maisie’s portacath became infected . So after 6 weeks of daily trips to hospital for IV antibiotics, four of those needing overnight stays for 6 hourly IV doses, Maisie had to have yet another procedure to remove it, with a horrible 7 days without it, before another portacath could be put it on the other side of her body. The nurses and doctors all commented on how smiley and cheerful Maisie always was.
We are so unbelievably proud of our precious girl and it is her bravery that keeps us strong.
Very soon after we arrived home from our in-patient stay at the Royal Marsden, Chris and Ursula contacted us to tell us all about the Children With Cancer Fund and what they try and do for families in our situation. They amazed us by saying that Maisie could let them know what her ‘wishes’ would be for a special treat. Not only that but that they like to spoil Mums and Dads too.
Maisie took quite a while to finally come up with her wishes, but eventually they were:
A Wii console with Mario Kart game,
A Baby Annabel
A new pink Bike.
Dominic asked for a Brands Hatch Driving Experience. I really did not know what to say, it didn’t feel right asking for something for myself. However, ‘The Boss’ (Chris) said I wasn’t allowed to give my wish away and was very insistent that as a parent I should have a wish too. I finally asked for a contribution to a relaxing chair so that I could have some quiet time relaxing reading a book or listening to a meditation CD.
Very soon after having told Chris and Ursula about the wishes they came round to visit us. Oh My Goodness, it felt like all our Christmases and Birthdays had come at once. Maisie had her Wii and game, Dominic had the ‘Rolls Royce’ of Driving Experiences and I, well I think I got the ‘piece de resistance’. Ursula gave me this beautiful hand made, wooden box which was a treasure in itself. Inside was a Wind in the Willows CD which happens to be one of my favourites and a letter. Not only did I have a ‘contribution’ to my magic chair, Ursula had actually got me the chair!!
Being told your daughter has leukaemia isn’t very nice, however, if that had not happened to us we would not have known that there were people in this world like Chris and Ursula (Chris – you must not edit this bit out!.) They truly are amazing people, working so hard to try and bring a little bit of sunshine into families’ lives at a time when they most need it (on top of having jobs and a busy family of three.) Their tireless fund raising efforts really do make a difference I can assure you. My daughter was absolutely thrilled with her wish and has not stopped smiling and she tells anyone she can about it. Dominic has never had such an amazing treat and can’t wait to try is Jenson Button skills. I confess to having a bit of a blub after they left having given us our wishes, it touches your heart to know people care so much. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts Ursula and Chris.
………and to anyone out there who may be reading this, if you are in any doubt about wanting to help raise money, please just go for it. Your generosity, whether it is in terms of your time organising something or in terms of your pennies, will be so gratefully received and will truly put smiles on little faces when they most need it.
P.S. Maisie says thank you. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx