Contemplating The Diary of Mr Felix Brown

Those first few weeks launched us into an unknown world of professionals, procedures and emotions.  The learning curve was huge as we tried to comprehend the enormity of what was happening to us.  Amongst it all we wanted to make sure that our wonderful family and friends were kept up to date and as informed as possible.  And so The Diary of Felix Brown was born.

The aim of the blog was to stop people worrying.  Felix hates people worrying and fussing,  so the idea was that if the diary was kept updated, people would know where we were at and feel involved in a way.  Felix was already getting fed up with people talking about it all of the time.

As the weeks went by, friends of friends started to follow and people were keen to share his story and encourage international followers.  The page also attracted interest from the local paper who asked to do a feature on his page.  Felix had never been in a newspaper before so he was really keen to find out what it was all about.  We thought it would just be a small article, a page filler.  To us, what was happening and how Felix was coping was  normal; it didn’t seem out of the ordinary to us.

The next day we were amazed to find that Felix was in fact front page with a double-page spread inside.  It was a lovely article which emphasised his humour, cheekiness and down to earth nature – we were so proud.  The media interest that followed over the next couple of days took us completely by surprise.  We were inundated with interview requests from the national press, radio and TV shows such as the Ellen Degeneres show with offers of money as an incentive.  It was all too much.  It was just meant to be a fun afternoon for Felix and we did not want to profit from what he was enduring, so we politely declined any further interviews.

However, that little toe-dip into the media world saw the likes on the diary rocket beyond belief.  What was meant to be a vehicle for keeping family and friends updated was quickly becoming a source of inspiration for others, an avenue to raise awareness and an opportunity to raise money for charity.  A month later, whilst Felix was again on a break from treatment, we agreed to him being interviewed by Channel 5.  Again, the reasoning behind it was purely to give him something to do and experience something which he would not ordinarily have the opportunity to do.  And boy he loved it.  He loved getting ‘miked’ up and doing a spot of acting for the camera.  It also resulted in more donations on his Justgiving site which was an admirable outcome.  Again, we did not receive any money from the interview.

Whilst there are huge positives resulting from the success of his diary, we are constantly monitoring the impact of it on him.  He is at the end of the day a 10 year old boy undergoing treatment which is both emotionally and physically gruelling.  We regularly weigh up the positives that he is gains from it and consider whether or not it is still a morally good thing to do.  With this in mind, we consider the wonderful encouragement from people he receives when times are tough, the gifts and experiences which have generously been offered, the awareness that has been raised, the many donations to charity and how he also helps others cope with their day-to-day life.

We also weigh up the benefits of it for the whole of Team Brown.  As I write this, a package has been delivered, organised by someone who has been inspired by his page.  This package has made Felix smile more than I could this morning.  As part of the package, he has been gifted vouchers to take his family to a well – known restaurant, a place where all three of the children love to go.  He doesn’t have much control over anything at the moment, but this, for a moment, will fill him with pride to be able to take us there, the kids will love going and myself and Mr Brown will relish doing something normal.  We all benefit and take something from the diary, whether it’s the kind words, uplifting messages, thoughtful gestures and or humour shared on his page, our current situation is, without doubt, made better by it.

So, at this moment at this time, whilst we contemplate the ethics of The Diary of Mr Felix Brown, to us it is nothing but good.

The Diary of Mr Felix Brown's profile photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Contemplating The Diary of Mr Felix Brown

  1. I can see Felix has inherited your writing skills and while your posts are deep and emotional, Felix’s are fun and cheeky. A great combination! I have thyroid cancer and brittle asthma and if I’m struggling, once I read Felix’s diary I feel so much better. Stay strong all of you.

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  2. I follow Mr Felix Brown’s diary on Facebook although I am not a member of FB myself. He’s got such a mature outlook on everything…are we sure he’s only 10 years old? (: it’s inspirational to see you both blogging your experiences. All the best from Austria to Team Brown!

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    1. Thank you so much for your support! He’s a mature little thing and getting maturer every day spending so much time with adults at the moment. He’s like a little old man sometimes! Best wishes to Austria (feels like Eurovision!) 😃

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  3. I hear your voice so clearly, your writing is such a reflection of your obvious love and concern for everyone around you, but equally I can understand how difficult a balancing act it must all be at times. Thank you for having the courage to share your journey. Felix is a superstar.

    We are in a similar position to you, although a little further down the line, post stem cell transplant and our son is older, now in his twenties and still an irrepressible joker. He was diagnosed with AML last September at Poole Hospital. I wouldn’t have the stength to do what you have so selflessly done, your diary gives support that is incredibly helpful.

    We’re also in Dorset and visit clinic at Southampton General every week, (today – Thursday is the day in fact) Maybe we will have the opportunity to meet up one day.

    Wishing you all a safe and speedy journey through the treatment. Keep doing what you do!

    With all good wishes,
    Kim

    PS. I too have worry nights full of jittery insects #newnormal x

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    1. Hey Kim, so lovely to hear from you. I hope your son’s treatment is going as expected – I still find it all a bit bonkers really, what we’re going through just doesn’t seem real. I’m glad my verbal monologues are helping – it’s immensely therapeutic and I really appreciate people making contact, especially if it helps them. It would be lovely to catch up one day, mum to mum. Much love Kerry x

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      1. Yes Kerry for months it seemed like an unreal, bonkers, dream like state to me too. Our son is doing well thanks, we enjoy every single day and laugh a lot. It would be lovely to meet up one day, we have something really important in common, our boys are amazing!
        Kim x

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