So – I could say this charity is all about me and my little family. But it’s not. We are just a sorry statistic – another, ‘did you hear about’ story. But you are here, you’ve clicked on my photo, so I probably ought to say something.
Until I was 35 years and 11 months old, I lived the dream. Working class boy, comprehensive school education. Does ok at College, meets ‘a girl’ before getting A Level results. The girl comes from a working class background too, and is beautiful. I liked the girl. So much so, I set up a business with the girl, which involved running up and down ladders with a squeegee and chamois leather instead of going to university. Girl is found up ladders in my home town of Kirton Lindsey in a blizzard in December 1995 helping out. I work out ‘the girl’ is a keeper. Marry the girl in June 1996, aged just 19.
Anna and I had the kind of relationship you read about in silly novels. We didn’t argue and always believed that being angry was a waste of emotional energy. We loved life and travel. Anna left the business first, qualifying as an accountant and worked for the food giant Bakkavor, rising steadily through the ranks. I followed suit, flirting with a teaching career for 3 years before qualifying as a solicitor with a top international law firm. Life was going pretty darn well. Careers on track. We’d bought a house in a town we loved. Then the children came – first, Lucia – in 2010 and then Alessandro in 2012. From the outside, I was the cat who had got the cream.
Just 7 months later, Anna was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.
12 months later she was dead.
Since 20 November 2013, I’ve tried to reconcile my faith, my fears and my anger. Irreconcilably.
What I did learn from Anna and her struggle with cancer, was to keep on. Never EVER give up. And I won’t. Our friends never gave up on us.
Dear reader, I ask that you don’t either. Work with us to fight and support and educate.