Let me tell you about a beautiful 27 year old woman named Charlotte Gwillim (Charlie), who lives in a small town with her partner of seven years, Rob Jackson.
In late 2017, Charlie took the biggest step of her adult life and bought an embroidery business. For months Charlie and Rob worked hard and on the 1st December 2017 they opened her beautiful shop in Sidmouth Town Centre. Sidmouth’s businesses began using Charlie’s impeccable service and she quickly became well known around our small Devonshire town for all her hard work.
A quote taken from the Sidmouth Herald one year on from starting her business: “It’s very surreal. I couldn’t be happier about how our first year has gone. It’s been hard work with a lot of late nights and early starts with a few challenges to overcome along the way but it has been the most exciting year of my life so far, and I have met so many wonderful people along the way.” It’s safe to say Charlie felt as though she had found her calling and was doing incredibly well!
At the beginning of February 2019 Charlie was at home feeling the effects of yet another migraine. Just like a lot of people Charlie didn’t want to waste a Doctor’s valuable time; so put off a trip to the medical centre. The migraines along with Charlie’s dedication to work continued. Eventually Charlie was pushed to get an appointment and went several times to the doctors. Of course; if symptoms present migraines that’s what the doctors diagnose. Charlie eventually felt compelled to go to hospital, the result was the same, doctors felt this was a severe bout of migraines.
At their wits end Charlie and Rob thought it may be best to get her eyes tested, hoping it could’ve been a simple fix of getting new glasses. To the optician’s absolute credit they found an abnormality behind Charlie’s eye, recognising the potential problem Charlie was immediately taken to hospital.
“You never think it’s going to happen to you”.
That week Charlie and Rob received the news that she had an incurable cancerous tumour in the front of her brain. Throughout the coming days, Plymouth doctors and nurses worked extremely hard to remove the tumour, providing her excellent care and support.
Slightly earlier than planned, Rob proposed to Charlie after her diagnoses as they had to cancel their trip to Rome where he had planned to do it! Of course, how could Charlie say no to the lovable giant. They now plan to make the absolute most of every day to come, however long that may be.
I sat with Charlie and Rob, both smiling and laughing wanting to talk about anything positive going on in my life. When I asked the difficult question “Are you both doing ok for money?” It’s not about the money she said, I’m just devastated that my business has to close. Since learning the awful news Charlie has made no mention of needing extra help, she asked for no special treatment. Charlie and Rob are awaiting confirmation whether they will be receiving benefits, they told me they feel guilty and embarrassed having to claim... I couldn’t believe how selfless they could be even in the current situation they are in.
Rob is now acting as Charlie’s full time carer, setting several alarms a night to provide Charlie with the right medication and care. This means at the moment they have to rely on support from family but of course the outgoings keep coming, household bills, shop rental, embroidery equipment hire and general living costs. As mentioned earlier, Charlie has had to close the shop and she will now need to sell it. Right now they could do with financial support whilst they wait for an interested buyer, all the while the bills still going out.
On the 13th July all of our friendship group will be running a 10km Run to raise money for Charlie and Rob.
We know there are so many families that go through this every day. The daily struggle of fighting cancer and trying to live a normal life. If we're willing to give money to any people in need, surely those most deserving are the people that don't ask for it. Donations of any amount will help make Charlie’s time as comfortable as possible.
“You never think it’s going to happen to you”
I just wanted to put in a few comments other people have to say about what an amazing woman Charlie is:
“She is the most vibrant, powerful women I know. She could tell you everything with her eyes and has the most wicked sense of humour! Bloody love her.....”
“Charlie is a strong and beautiful women. She has so much passion for everything in life, an amazing laugh (and her cute snort at the end ) which makes you instantly happy and a beautiful personality. I am extremely proud to call her my friend and love her very much.”
“A strong and powerful woman with plenty of sass. Incredibly vigilant and unbelievably talented with unparalleled creativity.”
“Charlie is one of the strongest women I have ever met, I feel privileged to be her friend and would do anything for this amazing, crazy, intelligent young lady”
“Charlie is one of the most courageous people I have ever known. She is the girl you want to go to for anything creative! Her talent and flare are amazing. I feel so lucky to have her as one of my closest friends”
“Charlie jumps at the opportunity to help a friend out no matter how big or small, she lights up the room with only her presence and sees the best in anyone or anything. Charlie is an angel, a legend and one of a kind.”
You can follow Charlie’s Instagram Blog:
Charlie’s Fund has reached its goal of £15,000!! We will continue to raise money until 13th July 2019 for Charlie as there are still donations coming in.
As mentioned before Charlie and Rob have been relying on the small income Rob receives and family support to get by. Philippa Lea (Robs mum) will now be withdrawing the money for Charlie and Rob to assist them with their financial situation.
We are so pleased Charlie can now start using the donations that you all have so kindly given!