Yesterday saw us round off our trip to Disneyland in style after a magical three days spent having fun with blood cancer patients and their families a million miles away from the worries of treatment, hospital appointments, blood counts and steroids.
This was an opportunity for children affected by blood cancer to concentrate on having fun and letting their imaginations run free. It was also an opportunity for families devastated by blood cancer to spend quality time together and make positive memories that will last a life time. Last and by no means least, it was an opportunity for parents and adult blood cancer patients with young families to be able to talk to others in similar situations and unload some of their burdens in an environment that was safe and understanding.
We achieved all of these things and so much more during this wonderful weekend, meeting as strangers but leaving as friends after a truly unforgettable experience that I will never forget.
No more was this apparent than at the character lunch in the Disneyland Hotel with some where the kids were happily playing together with their new toys - buzz light year lazers and Frozen characters in the main - while the adults chatted away pretending not to be interested in getting their own pictures taken with the characters.
It was a wonderful sight for us as the staff team and evidence of a job well done after a weekend full of unforgettable moments and memories like the spectacular firework display, meeting Mickey and the gang and the Wild West Show. And that's before you even start thinking about the rides! One of our favourites was Thunder Mountain which we had the pleasure of riding for the third time of the weekend with 7 year old Ellie who is doing really after a recent bone marrow transplant. Here's some action shots of us mid-ride:
For me personally there are too many highlights to pick out any one moment in particular but what I can say is that it was an extraordinary privilige to be part of a trip with such amazing families each dealing with blood cancer and everything that's been thrown at them with such courage and positivity.
I couldn't think of a group of more deserving individuals for a trip like this and on behalf of the charity I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone that made the nominations that enabled the families to go on this trip of a life time. As a charity we'd also like to thank all our supporters without whom this trip wouldn't have been possible. You should all be very proud of yourselves as you've helped ensure that for a weekend at the very least the dreams of these families have come true.
Our job now is to make sure that these families and thousands of others like them are able to continue to follow their dreams for years and years to come by beating blood cancer for good. We've come a long way since the charity first started in 1960 and will beat blood cancer one day soon. With your help that day will be sooner rather than later.
Show your support for children affected by blood cancer and their families by getting involved in Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.