Last week I was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer, even though I have never been a smoker. I am still undergoing tests, and I have not given up hope, but I already know the outlook is grim. Lung cancer is a stealth assassin, and many victims, like me, have very few symptoms and do not even know they are ill until the cancer is at an advanced stage. I won't put the statistics here, for my mother's sake. Please go to the British Lung Foundation or the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation if you would like more information.
I am almost powerless in the face of this, which, as friends, colleagues and family will testify, is not a typical state of mind for me. It is very unlikely that I will see my children into adulthood. I won't be able to love them, comfort them, teach them as a mother should, and support my husband through the inevitable family crises that lie ahead. I won't be keeping him company and looking after him when we're old, and if my kids have their own children, I will never meet them. It is the worst kind of betrayal.
This fund is the only positive action I can take right now, whilst fully functional, and in limbo as I wait for the invaluable NHS to look at my malignant cells. I cannot compensate my family for the loss of all that I hoped to be to them, but I can at least try to lessen the financial impact and raise money for others in a similarly awful situation.
Luckily, I am not worried that my family will be poverty-stricken. They will not, thanks to the compassionate, strong, successful people they are surrounded with. Nevertheless, I would be grateful if you would consider making a donation to this fund rather than sending flowers or cards, and then cancer charities will also benefit. I am conscious that, if I had been able to continue working until retirement age, I would have earned a lot more than my current target.
Money raised through this fund will be put towards housing, childcare and any further healthcare challenges that hit my lovely little family. I also hope the fund will help me personally by lessening the immense sense of inadequacy that I am struggling to overcome, and when the time comes, ease my family's transition into a new life without me. With the help of doctors and the essential work of charities like Cancer Research, Macmillan, British Lung Foundation and Roy Castle, that day could still be some time away.
In the event of a miracle, we will donate all the money to charity.
If you would like to donate to them directly, the links are below:
To protect my family, please only share this with people that you know and trust.
- Nicola Hamilton
- Len Bertoia
- Lindsay Roberts
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