Family Time

Prior to July 2023 Karen was a hardworking healthcare assistant on a busy cardiac ward at Doncaster royal infirmary and an even busier nanny to her three boisterous grandsons who dote on her as much as she dotes on them. It’s safe to say nanny is one of the most frequent requests in our house! We went on a lovely holiday altogether to Ibiza in June 2023 which Karen had been planning and waiting for since her 60th birthday in 2020 (unfortunately COVID and the arrival of her third grandson had delayed it 3 years). We then had Rupert’s first birthday and christening party which was enjoyed by all and at this point Karen still felt well.

Unfortunately, a few weeks later in mid July 2023 Karen suddenly lost her appetite. She then became dizzy and within a few weeks, started vomiting regularly. Consequently, her weight started to drop. Karen visited her GP who arranged for blood that time her liver function was measuring abnormal so they planned to repeat this 6 weeks later. In the meantime, Karen was still struggling to eat and at times becoming faint and passing out, both at home and work. The GP ordered more extensive blood tests and this time her CA125 levels came back as abnormal. This normally indicates ovarian cancer however ultrasounds came back negative for this.

This then followed a difficult time waiting for tests and being passed between different departments trying to figure out what was causing these distressing symptoms. At the end of November following a CT scan came the news that none of us wanted to receive..that they had found a large liver tumour which was inoperable and incurable. Cholangiocarcinoma was diagnosed.

To say we were devastated would be a gross understatement. Karen is central in not just ours and our boys lives but to so many around her….she has impacted so many people’s lives in such a positive way as is evident by the amount of visitors she continues to have week by week!

We don’t know exactly what the next few weeks/months will hold but we’re all keen to make the most of every moment that we can. Karen’s made a bucket list and one of those was to go to a woodland lodge with the boys..Eves Trust would help to make this a reality.
I’d first heard of Eve’s trust a few years ago after a friend and colleague received a dream from them while undergoing treatment for cancer. I looked at the website and it was really straight forward to complete an application highlighting what dream Karen would like.
I was surprised at how fast I was contacted and informed that Karen’s application was successful and her dream would be granted. Bayleigh was in contact quickly to ask us what we’d like and any preferences. Within a week it was all booked! It was honestly the easiest process I’ve ever gone through, which is just what we needed right now!

A matter of weeks later we all went to Darwin Forest in Matlock. We stayed in a lodge with a hot tub and it was just fantastic. What a wonderful place! The lodge provided the perfect base for us to be together as a family but also have enough space for the kids to run around and play. We were able to spend time walking and enjoying being outside but also take the kids swimming and on their bikes. We enjoyed family meals together at the lodge, including a takeaway away afternoon tea from the onsite restaurant and also had a gorgeous Sunday lunch. These were all simple things but meant the world to us to be able to be together and make memories with the children. It was relaxing, magical and absolutely perfect.
We are so incredibly grateful to Eve’s trust for providing us with this opportunity to spend this precious time together making memories. They gave us a little bit of relaxation and magic in an incredibly difficult time and gave Karen and all of us precious time to just be together. Thank you so much.

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