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In loving memory of John

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It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of our wonderful friend John Balson. John was a loving father to his three-year-old daughter and best friend to his wife, Yumeno, who will give birth to their second daughter in August. He was a wonderful husband, father, son, brother and friend. We will remember him for his brilliantly silly humour, love of football, cooking, boxing, hiking, nature, wrestling, travelling and his love for his family and friends.

John was a hard-working professional and was 100% healthy up until eight weeks ago, when he stood up at work one day and became instantly dizzy. The condition quickly worsened causing him constant dizziness, migraines, insomnia and pain 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After he left his job due to the illness, he dedicated himself to treatment, seeking help from the GPs, ENT departments, private MRI scans, consultations and rehabilitation from neurologists and vestibular specialists, psychiatrists, therapists, the NHS mental health crisis team, emergency hospital admission, reflexology, acupuncture, head massage, meditation, dietary therapy, various painkillers and tranquillizers.

Despite these efforts, his symptoms became even more severe, making not only football and boxing and all the exercises that he used to be able to do to release the stress impossible, but also even simple tasks were too painful. He could no longer cook, read, write, play the piano, listen to music, run, swim, watch TV, use the computer or phone, or do simple household chores. The only thing he could manage was walking his daughter to and from nursery three days a week. Even gentle walking caused him immense pain but he absolutely adored his daughter and wanted to do it for her with a smile on his face.

The family would have paid any money we had to give John just a minute’s relief from the agony he was experiencing. He described it as, ‘the cruelest punishment I could have imagined.’

In the last four weeks of his life, every morning was groundhog day for him; his family pleading with him to find some hope and positivity and reassuring him that we would find a cure. He lost a huge amount of weight in a short period of time and his mental health rapidly deteriorated. Every minute was a struggle for him and he fought bravely as long as he could. As John told his friends and family, ‘Nobody should spend their last days in this sort of constant agony.’

Anyone who knew John knows that he loved his wife, kids, family, friends and was excited for the future often stating that the best years were ahead of him. When their first child was born in Japan, John couldn't attend the birth due to the pandemic, and their daughter was immediately admitted to the NICU. So, when they found out Yumeno was pregnant again, he was extremely excited to be there for the birth in August.

Ultimately, unable to escape this severe brain condition, and suffering from chronic panic disorder and insomnia, he passed away alone, without anyone by his side.

We feel terribly let down by the health care system and were left to deal with this alone even though all the experts were told how dark his thoughts had become. In the future, we will all be more active in fighting for change.

Our world has been completely shattered in the space of eight weeks and those sweet girls will never have the chance to know what a kind, funny and brave man John was.

This fundraiser has been set up to support John’s daughters and wife. We would like his family to use the money however they see fit, whether it be for the memorial, to assist with any unexpected financial expenses arising from the death or help with his daughters’ futures.

Best friend, Joe.













友人代表 ジョー・シッキング 翻訳:新村愛花(新村夢乃 姉)


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    • 4 d
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  • Anonymous
    • £50 
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    • 7 d

Organizer and beneficiary

Joe Sikking
Yumeno Niimura

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