Over the five years of treatment, Emma underwent 18 operations to tackle the tumours
Emma was diagnosed with cancer age 12 and started a course of chemotherapy. Not only did Emma struggle to cope with the effects of cancer she also to cope with her father walking out on the family during her first round of chemotherapy. She’s barely seen him during years of aggressive cancer treatments.
Over the five years of treatment, Emma underwent 18 operations to tackle the tumours and sadly relapsed 7 times. When Emma was 17 the family then received devastating news. Emma recalls “I was told the news that nobody wants to hear, especially at 17 years old…that I was terminally ill and any treatments I’d receive would be to try and prolong my life but not cure me. I tried to act strong in front of my family and friends but I was totally distraught”.
Refusing to let cancer stop her living her life Emma wrote her bucket list. Right at the top was her wish to marry her childhood sweetheart, Dion. It was a race against time however with the fundraising support of family, friends, charity and In kind donations enough funds were raised for a magical wedding day.
Emma’s mum, Cheryl, recalls “she blew me away as she walked down the aisle with her step dad Mike. Mike has given Emma a lifetime of love”.
Emma wished to create some beautiful memories with her new husband so Joss Searchlight volunteers raised funds for the newly weds to honeymoon for a week at a luxury cottage with a private hot tub set in peaceful woodlands in the rolling hillside. It was just the relaxation that Emma needed, with ‘mum’ not too far away in case of problems.
Cheryl said “Without all these generous, kind and thoughtful people the wedding wouldn’t have been so beautiful or so memorable. They gave Emma a wedding fit for a princess.”
Joss Searchlight also supported memory making by taking photos of Emma & Dion’s wedding day and creating engraved images of Emma for her mum, sister, husband and best friend Chloe.
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Dahlia was diagnosed in August 2020 with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. DIPG is an aggressive and difficult to treat type of brain tumor found in the brainstem that primarily affects children.
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