Not so long ago, I made a big hoo-har about My Return To Blogging, heralding this minor miracle with a month of posting nothing but positivity. I announced I was going to get back on the wagon and get back to posting as regularly as possible whilst not putting pressure on myself to spend my entire time attached to my laptop.
Then life happened and my free time suddenly became not-so-free as I received some news which filled my brain and, instantaneously, my evenings and weekends.
A good friend of mine, someone I have known since the age of 11 (that’s 19-years… I’m so old) contacted me to let me know that her daughter, Amy – aged just 7 – had been diagnosed with Cancer. Not only that, but the form of Cancer she has is so rare that the treatment she needs (Proton Beam Therapy) isn’t available in the UK. This means they need to go to America.
I’ll be honest, when I got the news about Amy, it hit me like a tonne of bricks. Her mum, Carly, and I have been friends through so many ups and downs in the nearly-two-decades (sob) that we’ve known each other and, although we can sometimes go months without seeing each other, it’s one of those friendships that is solid. You know the kind? When you just know it’s a friendship that is going to last the test of time. She’s one of the most giving, friendly, helpful, caring people I know and I honestly believe my life is better simply for having her in it. And likewise, I love both her children so much, having watched them both grow from teeny little babies into the half-pint-size humans they are today.
So, to see people you care for so deeply going through something so awful… well, there’s not really any words for it. It’s beyond upsetting, it’s heart-achingly awful.
But, Carly and Amy are beyond brave. The way they have dealt with this has honestly left me speechless. Amy is on her second round of chemotherapy at the moment and, at just seven years old, having lost most of her hair, having had an operation, and going through everything she’s going through… she hasn’t stopped smiling. The kid is an absolute powerhouse!
And Carly? Well Carly is, once again, proving to me why I’ve always said she’s the strongest woman I know.
Now, obviously the cost of getting Amy to America for treatment is going to be high and, at the moment, they are awaiting the ins-and-outs associated with it. The doctors are going to reassess Amy at the end of her chemotherapy here in the UK as to what the next course of action is going to be, but they have instructed them to be ready and able to fly straight over there and get the treatment started. We are – of course – crossing our fingers that Amy will somehow manage to beat this horrible disease just with her UK treatment, and there is a slim chance she will, but in the meantime we are working on raising money so that if/when the doctors do tell her she’s got to hop on a plane over to the States she will be ready to go.
So, as I did a couple of years ago to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust, we are now hosting an INCREDIBLE online raffle to raise funds for Amy’s Angels (as we have called ourselves) to get her overseas for the treatment she needs.
(Please note this important point – any money raised that is above and beyond what Amy and her family need, will be donated for research into the rare form of Cancer she has – Rhabdomyosarcoma – so all monies raised will be going to a good cause either way!)
As it stands, the raffle has over 40 prizes that can be entered for, although we are having more prizes donated almost every day! Tickets are just £2.00 each and you can enter for as many prizes as you like, and as many times as you want to. There’s everything ranging from hair and beauty, vouchers for clothing brands, flowers, gym memberships, cinema tickets, food and drink, homewares, dog food, hair extensions, photography sessions, family days out, a Forest School experience and so, so much more!
The raffle itself is only open to UK residents and some of the prizes are location specific, but these are all listed in the details so you can work out if it’s somewhere you’ll be able to travel to.
At just £2.00 a ticket, it’s definitely got to be worth entering and chancing your luck at winning any of the prizes that interest you. There’s a few I would love to win, but obviously I can’t enter!
Whether you choose to enter the raffle or not, we would be so grateful for any support you can give us. Amy has already been featured in UK national newspapers (Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Sun) and on ITV News, plus lots of local newspapers here in Essex too, but we need to spread her story far and wide to get the family the money they need to help their little girl get better.
If money is tight for you then please don’t worry, we know things like this aren’t possible for everyone, but a simple ‘like’ of the Amy’s Angels Facebook page, her Twitter account, and visiting her GoFundMe page will do us the world of good.
Amy’s Angels on Facebook – www.facebook.com/AmysAngels2016
Amy’s Angels on Twitter – www.twitter.com/AmysAngels2016
Amy’s GoFundMe Page – https://www.gofundme.com/2h5ui4k
Amy’s Big Raffle – http://amys-angels.myshopify.com
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this – sorry it’s a big of a long rambling post, and I’m sorry for my absence on here, but I’ll be back soon, I promise!!