Ting is 30 and living with incurable bone cancer. After all the hospital appointments and treatment, her one wish for her Special Day was to see her husband smile again. Here she shares her story with us:
“I married Jonathan in 2011 and our lives seemed perfect. Just weeks later, I suffered debilitating back pain and a loss of sensation in my legs. We were shocked when scans showed a large tumour on my spine.
I immediately had two surgeries and a diagnosis of malignant high grade osteosarcoma – a rare and difficult to treat cancer.
As I recovered from surgery and prepared for nine-months of tough chemotherapy, there was more bad news – the tumour had returned and this time was inoperable. The little hope that I’d one day recover evaporated. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed.
At the start of 2013, with final treatments behind me, I’d regained some mobility in my legs and was well-enough to travel. We decided to go to China to visit my family. Saying goodbye to relatives for what was likely to be the last time was harder than any of the surgeries or treatments.
Confined to a wheelchair
In June, the growing tumour was pressing on my spinal cord. Within ten days, I was paralysed from the chest down and confined to a wheelchair. I was completely dependent on my husband and care workers. Doctors said I might only have months to live.
At first, I thought such a life was not worth living. However, memories of all the happy times and the thought of my Willow Special Day kept me going.
The most wonderful gift
With the love of good food in common since the day we met, our Willow wish was to have a date in a nice restaurant. We quickly decided on the world famous restaurant, Fat Duck.
With my paralysis so recent, getting around was a struggle, but Willow took care of absolutely everything. The experience left me with wonderful memories. Jonathan has been my carer, cook, physio, nurse, driver and shoulder to cry on, and seeing him relax and smile for the first time in years was the most wonderful gift anyone could ask for.
I couldn’t stay strong without the support of loved ones and organisations like Willow. Thank you so much Willow for helping me realise my dreams.”
Take on the Will of Iron challenge this May and help create many more special moments for people such as Ting and her husband John.