Having suffered with so much loss in a few short years, Willow Burn Hospice had become a place of refuge for me. I first got involved with Willow Burn in 2011. They looked after my father, who passed away in the February. This was a really difficult time for me but the care that my dad received was excellent. Unfortunately, during the time he was at Willow Burn, I was also diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was told that I could go to relaxation sessions there and that they would support me with their services. This was a god send to me. I started back at work but would look forward to coming to Willow Burn for my sessions. I then developed Lymphedema and they were there to look after me and offer me support throughout my treatments. This was just the beginning of my story.
In 2013, I was again, diagnosed with Breast Cancer. This was truly the worst year of my life. Not only was I fighting against Cancer, trying to save my own life, I was hit with more family illness. My nana, granddad and auntie all passed away at Willow Burn that year. Having to battle an illness and losing your family support system at the same time was unthinkable. I was in so much pain emotionally and physically and that is again, when I turned to Willow Burn. At this time, I was passed on to Karen & Sara who are bereavement councillors. This was the best things that could have ever happened. These sessions saved me from having a mental breakdown. I never knew all of the emotion and pain that I was building up inside of myself. I have never looked back since speaking to them. This service was invaluable to me.
As all of Willow Burn services are free, I wanted to thank them for everything they had done for me by giving back to them. In 2015, my family and I did a sponsored bike ride for Willow Burn. I wanted to be able to give Willow Burn something because of all the services they had provided me with from therapies for my own illness, bereavement counselling and support whilst my loved ones died with them. This year I was volunteering at the Christmas fair with my sister. I heard about the Community Hero’s Awards where Willow Burn could be given £500. I nominated Willow Burn because of everything they have done for me. They really deserve to get some recognition for all the support and service they have given to me. Willow Burn helped me through a very hard time and I will always be grateful to them.