London Marathon!

In her short 8 years, Jess never made it to London, but I know she would have loved the bright lights, the buzz and the omnipresent activity that tells you you’re in a vibrant city like no other.

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to take a trip down. Not only did we love seeing all the sights, but we also loved saw the preparations for the London Marathon today, a race at which a couple of people I know are kindly racing in memory of Jess. Massive thanks to Richard Cooke, dad to a couple of lovely girls who went to school with Jess, as well as Paul Taylor, who knew Jess since she was just a few days old. If anyone wants to add to their already amazing fundraising for Children with Cancer UK and CCLG in memory of Jess, you can visit their links here.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=RichardCooke19&pageUrl=1

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melanieandpaul

What a Lovely Westerton Day

We loved popping back to Westerton for the day to take part in the Team Jess Westerton Marathon. It was great to see some familiar faces from years gone by and to run with a Jess’ old class under perfectly ordered skies! Just to top it off, a whole lot of money was raised for Children with Cancer UK too.😀. I think all the children and the school did themselves incredibly proud. Thanks Westerton – what a great achievement – I know Jess would have loved it.

Bearing Memories of Jess!

If Jess was still with us, I think it’s fairly safe to say that she would have long since outgrown her favourite clothes and no doubt some would have made their way into capes/dresses etc for some of her bears! So when I heard about the option to turn some of Jess’ old clothes into a memory bear, it seemed perfect and very fitting for Jess… pardon the pun! Today I received the finished articles – two matching bears made from 6 of Jess’ items of clothing – and I love them! They captures Jess’ ‘into everything’ spirit perfectly. One has taken pride of place in my newly created office… ‘bearing’ down on me as I work! Jess never did get to come and work with me like she wanted, so all in all it feels like another perfect way to keep Jess’ memory living on. The other has gone alongside her brother’s memory box along with some other special keep sakes. Massive thank you to 3 To Thread, we’re delighted with our new additions (although 1 out of 2 people might be too cool to admit it publicly) 😀

18 Months Since Jess Was Diagnosed

If you’d asked me a couple of years ago, I’d say I’d never been too bothered about anniversaries and dates. Of course, I’d mark the key ones, but smaller dates often passed me by, only for me to realise a few days later. Since Jess got ill, I’ve never been a fan of the 18th of the month; Jess was diagnosed on the 18th of September and passed away on the 18th October. Today is not only the 18th, but also 18 months to the day since Jess was diagnosed. Too many 18s, you might say, but wanting to mark the occasion, I decided to take dedicate some time to doing something in memory of Jess.

A few months ago, the Harvey Hext Trust very kindly made us a memory box for Jess’ brother, to store all of his favourite Jess memories. Of course, when I asked him what he wanted to put in there, the list was endless – so many precious memories, how do you capture them all and put them in a box? I’m still not sure we’ve got the optimum inventory (it feels a bit like answering the question what would you take to a desert island!) but at least we’ve made a start and the lid closes now so that’s definitely progress. Thanks Harvey’s Hext Trust, it’s lovely to have an extra special place to save some of the fondest memories.

Totaliser Still Rising!

After what feels like a never ending lockdown 3, Christmas seems like a very distant memory, even though only really a matter of weeks ago. So it was lovely to hear from Jess’ old school yesterday, with news of their amazing Christmas jumper fundraising in memory of Jess for Children with Cancer UK. Another £626.80 to add to the totaliser is an amazing result! Thanks Westerton, and so heartwarming to hear that Jess’ memory lives on with you too.

School Fancy Dress Day!

Jess would be proud of her friends and teachers raising a fantastic £384 for a Children with Cancer UK by holding a fancy dress day at school. Jess loved dressing up, here’s a photo with her brother when they dressed up as Where’s Wally for World Book Day a few years ago. Ironically, it was the Where’s Wally Books that took Jess’ mind away from the blood tests in the early days. Thanks Westerton, fantastic effort!

Day of Memories – Thankyou Candlelighters

Today was the first ever Day of Memories that I’ve attended. I’ve been invited to a couple of, ‘remembering days’ held by other groups since Jess passed away, but never quite felt in a place where I could go. But I felt different about today’s event, held by Candlelighters. For the month of Jess’ illness , I saw more of the Candlelighters and hospital team than anyone else I know. And whilst being in hospital is no fun for anyone, the team really did do their best! I will never forget the kindness shown by such a fabulous team, so it felt fitting to join their event. All the same, I was apprehensive about what to expect. Like the other families, watching the event meant we are part of a club that no one ever wanted to be a part of in the first place, and to be honest I wondered if remembering so many lost children would be too much; one loss is tragic, never mind more. But I was surprisingly comforted by the Day of Memories, the unity of it all and of seeing some familiar faces who looked after Jess so well when she was in hospital.

With it being my first event. I can’t comment on the differences between a virtual event and an in person one, but it running remotely meant complete strangers were spared my rather unattractive ‘bawling my eyes out’ look, so that part was probably a benefit . 😀 It was nice to see other people’s memories and to write my own tribute in the memory book too. I lit my beautifully fragranced candle and made a Jessica bracelet. It’s the first time I’ve done anything remotely like that since Jess was here in person, and it reminded me of times we used to sit and do things like that together 😀. When we chose to support Candlelighters with fundraising shortly after Jess passed away, I knew how valuable your service was and how much we’d already benefited from you being there in the short time Jess knew you. Today only reinforced my sentiments. Thank you for all you do. ❤️

We’ve Just Passed £20K!

I am delighted that we have just passed the £20K fundraising point and we’re still going strong 😀. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d raise so much (and be able to help a number of charities too), so a massive thank you to all those who have supported us! With the challenges that COVID has brought, charities need our support now more than ever.