Debbie, who lives with breast cancer, lost her son JJ in 2017, to a rare bone cancer ‘sarcoma’. He was just 26 years’ old.
JJ had just started out in the navy, he was based in Faslane. He said he had a lump on his arm after injuring himself. After several scans, I received a call from him telling me it was cancer.
To be told your child has cancer is one of the worst things a parent can ever go through.
JJ went through a lot for a young lad his age, he had to have really serious chemotherapy and radiotherapy to shrink the tumour. He went through a 12-hour major operation to remove his humorous bone, but JJ always stayed positive, even when the tumour became so severe that he lost his sight. He never had a bad word to say about anything.
JJ had his 26th birthday in hospital on the 9th of March. So being mum, I put banners and balloons up, brought some sandwiches, all the family visited. We took cards and presents which he had a joke about saying “obviously I can’t read them mother!” I even got his favourite cake, the caterpillar cake.
JJ entered Teesside Hospice on the 12th March. For those few days that he was there, Teesside Hospice were amazing and that's the reason I support Light up a Life.
Writing JJ’s name up there so people can see him, it keeps him alive, and that's what I think it does for everybody, to see their loved ones name up there for people to look at. It just means that your child or your husband, whoever it is, family or friend, are still here.
I owe a lot to the hospice, as a family we try to do as much as we can and give as much as we can. Even if it's a pound, it doesn't matter, that pound goes to another pound, to another pound and those pounds add up.
I'd be devastated if the hospice wasn’t here, because to me, part of JJ’s here. He always used to say, “cherish the little things in life because one day it becomes the big things”.
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