So the last couple of days I have been telling you of our amazing trip to London – today I wanted to tell you about the reason we were there…
As many of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and although I have made a good recovery, it was a rollercoaster few months. During my radiotherapy treatment, the hospital handed me a form for The Willow Foundation – a charity that I had not previously heard of. This amazing organisation plans and gifts special days out to seriously ill people 16 – 40 years of age. I took the form reluctantly (indeed I took everything to do with my diagnosis reluctantly) and put it away in a desk drawer. I didn’t feel ill enough to be applying for such a gift – indeed I felt embarrassed to be offered it in the first place, I didn’t deserve such a treat when there are so many people who do.
However, my daily visits to the hospital meant that the radiographers had plenty of opportunities to badger me about the form which had to be submitted whilst I was still undergoing active treatment and filled out by the health professionals. Friends and family also had a part to play and eventually on the last day of my treatment I handed the form in (reluctantly…) As I had left it so late I did not expect it to go through or be accepted. So to cut a long story short, our weekend away was a memorable gift from The Willow Foundation and it was lovely to time it with my birthday too. They organised everything, from our train journey to London, to a car which took us from station to hotel, hotel to theatre, hotel to station again on the Sunday. They booked us into the most amazing hotel on the Embankment of the Thames – so central that we could walk everywhere. They booked us the tickets to Warhorse which will be a memory that will stay with me….such a beautiful show.
This is not something that we could have afforded to do ourselves as our income would never make it possible. The only way that I could accept such a gift was with the knowledge that I could hopefully give something back in some small way. There are so many charities that have helped me along the way in this journey – Cancer Care UK, Macmillan Cancer and Breast Cancer Care and in time I want to release other prints with a portion given to those but I wanted to begin with this wonderful Charity which takes creating ‘A Moment in time…’ as their gift to those suffering the stresses and strains of life-threatening illnesses. I am so grateful to them for the memories that were created on our trip to London.
This painting was created at a time when I was still really feeling the effects of my treatment but had also made the decision to get serious about my art and make the most of my abilities and the opportunities I have to create – it is one of my favourite images of mine and means an incredible amount to me!
So there are 2 sizes of this print available which for now will only be available on-line and from me in person. 50% of the price of each print will go to the Willow Foundation (the rest will enable me to always have ink and paper on hand!) and I hope to keep a running total of donations somewhere in my side-bar if I can work out how to do it. My initial aim is to raise £500 but as this print will be available for as long as I am able to make prints (I aim to never retire!) then who knows!
I don’t usually ask this, but if you did know anyone who may like to purchase a copy of this print, or if you wanted to blog about it, or share this post in any way, I would be ever so grateful. As I have made this print an un-limited edition I would love to sell as many as possible and be able to support this charity in my own small way.