When someone I barely knew but whom had made me feel welcome was no longer at work. I heard from other colleagues that she had a young son with cancer and my heart went out to her and her family. I thought of my own children and my granddaughter and counted my blessings that they were healthy.
I remembered my childhood friend Matthew who died of Leukaemia age 5 and as a child myself age 10 how I started a fundraising group for the local branch of Leukaemia research fund. We named it the ‘Ray of Hope Club’ and recruited some other kids and set about raising money. We would crochet ponchos and bake cupcakes, sell toys, make gift tags out of Christmas cards with pinking shears and ribbon and sell anything we could add to a stall at a fair. We went door to door with collection tins. We organised a sponsored cycle and a garden fete and we did everything we could to raise money because that was all we could do and we wanted to do something!
A few months after Kerry had taken time to be with their son during his treatment I saw Mr Brown in Asda when he was shopping with one of his boys. My daughter and I chatted with him asking him how the family were (she recognised him as a teacher from her secondary school and we made the connection). We told him that we were praying for the whole family. I remember he said thank you to us for talking to him as so many people didn’t because they didn’t know what to say. Cancer obviously deeply affects the closest family members the most, but yes – it is a ripple effect and it touches the hearts of all who have some connection however small. Some feel inadequate in both word and deed to convey what is felt. Some will not be able to put into words what they want to convey still, however, your family, especially your boy are probably not far from their thoughts on many occasions.