Nikki talks about the financial pressure that accompanies cancer.
When Richard and I received the news that no parent should ever have to hear – that our son had cancer we had no idea just how tough that journey was going to be. Yet compared to many families we were actually very lucky – yes lucky.
Tom was treated in University College Hospital in London on a teenage cancer ward. Fortunately, there was a pull-out bed which meant Nikki could sleep by his side 24/7. Richard unfortunately had to leave every evening but luckily, we were offered a house 10 minutes away, so Richard could be very close by and not have to travel back home every night.
For both of us our employers were amazing. I stayed on a full wage for 12 months and Richard could be at the hospital whenever he needed to be. We had no reduction in our income which was such a relief because our living costs in London were high. The extra ready meals, food and travel costs added up greatly.
Emma was at university in Reading which was a blessing because she was closer to us in London than if we were at home. She could pop up to see her brother whenever she wanted.
Finally, we had the most amazing support network in our families and friends. We wanted for nothing and had everyone at our beck and call whenever we needed it. Without them we would not have coped.
Sadly, our story is very rare and the young people that apply to us for a grant have very different stories to tell.
Read more stories of how your donations have helped…………
……you are 19 years old and have been diagnosed with a brain tumour. You have spent months in hospital and have undergone brain surgery. You are now receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy which is making you very unwell. The daily travel you and your Mum make to the hospital is making you feel exhausted and overwhelmed.
Your Mum can no longer work as she is now your full-time carer and income is very limited. Your rent cannot be paid and you may be made homeless. You are now more anxious about financial matters than your illness!
The donations made by YOU have allowed this young person to receive a grant to help with their travel to and from hospital.
THANK YOU !
……you are 16 years old and have been diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphona. You have been extremely unwell and have spent weeks in intensive care. You are now receiving chemotherapy and remain very poorly. Your Mum has to look after your little sister as well as care for you and has had to give up work to be by your side. Your weight has changed due to the treatment. There is no money for travel to and from the hospital, household bills, childcare, food and new clothes. You are very worried.
A grant was made to this family to help with their financial difficulties thanks to YOUR generous donations.
…… you are 13 years old and have been diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive osteosarcoma. You have undergone extensive surgery and will need further surgery. Your parents have no wage as they are caring for you whilst you continue to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. You cannot go to school because you are in so much pain and have poor mobility. You feel vulnerable and helpless. Because you cannot share your experiences with your friends you feel isolated and depressed. There are strong links between emotional and physical well-being.
This teenager wanted a laptop as the family had no such devices. This would enable them to access school work online and connect once again with his school friends through online gaming and social forums. YOUR donations allowed us to buy a laptop to help this young person build up their self-esteem.
We received this message of thanks from Jimi-
l have been fighting high grade Oestosarcoma for the past 8 months. I feel lonely in the hospital but right now am not lonely anymore,I just want to thank everyone at The Tom Bowdidge foundation and everyone who donated for my New laptop. It’s fantastic.