After a year where vital cancer trials have been delayed, the Race for Life is more important than ever. That's why I'll be taking part in the ‘Very 2020 Race for Life’. This will be the third time that I have participated in the ‘Race for Life’ and like the times before I will be raising money in memory of my little sister Daisy. My sister, Daisy, was 8 years old when she lost her fight against Cancer in 2002.
I was an only child before Daisy was born and from the moment she entered the world I was besotted. I was 6 when she came into this world and she was born at home. I remember being so excited about her arriving, thinking how it would be to have a friend to play with all the time (and to boss around!). When I think about the first time I saw her I always think about how little her fingers were gripping mine, how small her fingernails were, how cute her little button nose was and that she had the softest skin. I wanted to help with everything! I loved mothering my little sister, helping in feeding, dressing and changing her wherever I could. Daisy always looked up to me, wanting to join in with whatever I was doing, taking my things and being a ‘big girl’. Sometimes I would complain but deep down it made me feel like I was special, she was my little shadow and I cherish those memories.
Daisy was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was just 4 years old, It rocked our family in ways I cannot begin to explain. All I really remember about the years she endured fighting Cancer was how sick she became, all the hospital appointments for surgery, chemotherapy and follow up appointments. I remember her sadness and confusion over all the things she wanted to do but couldn’t and how different everything was for us all. Cancer effects everyone involved in so many ways it’s hard to express. I remember it as a child, from a child’s perspective which conflicts with my perspective as an adult now. I remember all the sadness, confusion, resentment and fear about ‘Cancer’ being all tied up with hope, love and desperation for Daisy to get well and to ‘pull through’ as she fought hard against something ravaging her little body.
There are lots of happy memories too despite the pain. I also remember her infectious laugh, loving personality, her love of the seaside, music and colouring. Daisy had a big personality for someone so small and like everyone she met, I loved her with every fibre of my being. Daisy did go into remission for a time and the sun seemed to shine once again but sadly not for long, her Cancer unfortunately spread and there was nothing that could be done to bring her health back on track. Daisy took her last breath and closed her eyes for the last time in our family home 20 days before my 15th birthday and 4 years after her fight with Cancer first began, she was the strongest soul I know. In the moment of her passing I lost more than just a sibling, I lost part of what made me who I was as a person then and who I would be in the future.
This year marked the 18th anniversary of her passing and yet the pain of her passing is as strong as the first moment, I’m not sure you ever finish grieving the loss of someone, you just learn to live with it each day. Daisy would’ve been 27 years old this coming October and now that I have a young family of my own we try to keep her memory alive every day in little things that we do. I often see Daisy in each of my children’s smiles, in their eyes and sometimes in the behaviours they show. As a family we always talk about the kind of person ‘Auntie Daisy’ was, what she liked to do and who she could’ve been if she was physically with us still today. When I complete the Very 2020 Race for Life on the 26th September, I will be thinking of her then more than ever that day and I hope sharing her memory more widely helps in raising some funds for a special cause.
Every penny or pound you can donate will go towards Cancer Research UK’s ground-breaking work, so please sponsor me today! If you’d like to join the Very 2020 Race for Life community, then sign up at raceforlife.org/2020 I also have a team page called ‘Bellis Perennis’ if anyone would like to participate in raising funds with me either in person or across the miles/virtually then that’s great. Every penny or pound raised for this great cause will be appreciated too. By continuing to support Cancer Research, together we can keep helping the fight. We won’t let 2020 stop us.