Well I am currently sitting here waiting for a meeting with a Hampshire Police Officer who is going to talk me through my experience with PTSD with a view to speaking to other Officers about it. If someone had asked me a year ago I wouldn't have stepped out to a group of people to tell my story.
This year AOK have been supporting a family through the worst possible situation.
A young girl called Sophie Fairall passed away from Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. It has thrown my heart and my head in pure chaos, questioning why life has to be so unfair. This little girl, from a really lovely family fought so hard but treatments that were not available and research that wasn't there let her down. We supported the family through the journey so far and we won't let them go. Her courageous mum is ploughing on through the heartache to bring change to so many aspects of Sophie's journey and I will continue to support her as much as I can.
It really struck me hard this week. The same week as they received their tragic news of the diagnosis was the same week that my little boy Elijah was told he had stage 3 lymphoma. My family were torn apart with this. It was during Covid and I was there on my own listening to this doctor just tell me outright that it was Stage 3 lymphoma. We had six weeks of sheer hell on earth waiting for surgery and biopsy to be told on the same week that he had the all clear......tragically the same week as Sophie received her terminal diagnosis. How can life be so fair and cruel in the same week?? For Sophie's family were just ripped apart in that moment, and for us to go back to life as normal? It won't be normal again. I will carry mum guilt but make that guilt into something that is positive to help bring about change. I am forever thankful that our son was ok. We had six weeks of sheer hell on earth, but Sophie's family has this for life. The loss of a child can never mean life will be the same again.
It will be a legacy that Sophie's wishes are granted, and we will do all we can to make it happen. This beautiful girl had everything to live for. What she has taught me in her short life of no fretting and to see the good in every day has been refreshing and something I will now certainly live by.
That's what has made me step up to speak to the Officer today. I am drawing on Sophie's bravery to help others. Sophie did the same. She was 10 years old but had more about her than alot of adults!! She raised thousands of pounds, her unstoppable tenacity and she showed that life is for living. Pure and giving, how we should all be.
Sleep tight Sophie Fairall. You will not be forgotten. I will talk about you with pride of knowing you for that short period, and continue to support your family throughout the next steps. I will keep looking for the rainbows. Thank you for giving me more than you will ever know. xx
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