Below you will read a story of a family, just looking for a break in a dream location to escape the word Cancer, if only for a brief moment. This is Annemarie’s story in her own words:
“My name is Annemarie, I’m a mum to two amazing kids Isabelle who is 11 and jack who is 10, I’m married to my best mate ben, we’ve been together 17 years and finally got married last June in a forest wedding ceremony near Whitby. I’m a nurse and I’m half way through a specialist practitioner’s degree to enable me to become a health visitor. Our life has always been very busy, working full time, and raising a family…it’s been tough. So on the 7th February our life was turned upside down when at 33 years old and just 7 months after we got married I was given a diagnosis of inflammatory Breast Cancer. The type I have is rare and aggressive and accounts to only 5% of all BC diagnosis. Scans revealed that the cancer has already spread to my lymph nodes which was no surprise as this is inflammatory breast cancer – it spreads quickly. However I consider myself very lucky that at the moment it is no further than my lymph nodes. I started chemo very quickly – a week after diagnosis. I have had one session of chemo so far and can already see and feel the difference. I will require 5 further chemo sessions, a mastectomy in the summer then radiotherapy to ‘finish’ off with. I’ve been told it will be a years’ worth of active treatment.
Overall, I am very positive about my treatment, the outcome and my prognosis but would be lying if I said I haven’t had ‘my moments’ – this is scary stuff!!! But I have amazing support from my husband, family, friends and colleagues as well as the kindness of strangers from a closed Facebook group. Life is pretty much as normal as it was before my diagnosis, chemo so far has been very kind to me and I’ve only had minimal side effects.
Ironically I found out about the Eve Merton Dreams Trust when I shared someone else’s dream on Facebook, never thinking just two months later I would be applying for my own dream. I only applied for my dream on a whim, I didn’t think I would get ‘picked’ and to be honest it didn’t sit well with me at all. We have always been a very independent family, never taken help off anyone and have just worked hard and saved had for everything we have. Which is why I found it quite difficult to accept this dream. Claire and Clynton have been amazing! So for the benefit of my family I have put my feelings of pride to one side and have accepted offers and help from everyone that has offered including this amazing charity. My dream has always been to stay in a treehouse, I just love the forest and woods and I know my kids would love it as well as my diagnosis has effected them and I want them to have one last trip away before my surgery starts in the summer.
When I am ‘better’ I fully intend on doing some fundraising to give back to this amazing charity and have already been in talks with some friends as to how we can go about this, as well as taking part in some campaigning to get the breast screening age lowered as I have come across lots of young ladies the same age as me or younger that have been diagnosed with Breast cancer”
Annemarie’s “Family Dream” is now complete, this is the update we received…..
“Just wanted to let you know that we returned from an amazing break away from Clevelymere treehouse yesterday. There are no words that I can say to you that will express my gratitude for booking this trip away. It’s been absolutely amazing!!!! The whole place was faultless and that says a lot coming from me lol. We arrived to a very warm welcome by the owner and his resident ducks and shown to the treehouse. We had our own private rowing boat and mooring, the kids made full advantage if the safe wooded surroundings and were left to their own Devices exploring. We had firepits, barbecues, roasted marshmallows. Crazy golf, mountain bikes, everything was included and no out of pocket expenses. More importantly, our kids had a cancer/worry free couple of days away from the routine at home where they could just be kids. That’s so important and the reason why I chose a tree house break. We all didn’t want to leave back to our reality. However all good things have to come to an end, and we are back at home and I’m now at DRI waiting to go in for my 5th round of chemo. Forever grateful that your wonderful charity gave our family a much needed cancer free break away. Thank you so much for everything, love Annie, Ben, Isabelle and Jack Wilson xxx”