This week, we’d like to do something kind for a family from Cambridgeshire going through a very difficult time.
Charlene is a mum of 4 children, aged 16, 14, 11, and 2. She has stage 4 bowel cancer, which has spread to her liver and lungs. She has had multiple surgeries and dozens of rounds of chemo.
Charlene was diagnosed in April 2017, just after her baby girl was born. She had to have immediate surgery and chemo and couldn’t even hold her baby for months.
In the 2 years since she was diagnosed, life has been completely flipped upside down. Everything revolves around hospitals, appointment and scans. For the children, this has become a normal part of their life. Charlene and her husband, Neil, try to be as honest with the older children as they can. They know that this will eventually takes their mum’s life, but just live 3 months at a time around scan results.
Neil works as a prison officer and Charlene hasn’t been able to work since her diagnosis. She has been weak, sick and tired...but life doesn’t stop. Neil is out of the house 7am-6pm Monday to Friday, so the children have to help out more than most. The older children help to look after their baby sister, they help around the house, cook dinner - anything they can to help their mum.
Charlene and Neil do not know what the prognosis is. They refuse to ask about survival rates or timescales, but they know that in the not so distant future her options may become fewer.
“I don’t know how long I have left, I refuse to live to a timeframe so I never ask that question but I would like to make the most of every day,” she said.
With your help, we would love to give Charlene, Neil and the 4 children a summer to remember.