Today is 1 year since we lost Samuel. There is a big space that used to be filled with love and fun and cheekiness.
His life was so short yet he touched so many people and keeps on doing so. I am proud of what he has done, of the strong, courageous boy he became. I was stunned to see how much he matured in so short a time while in hospital. There were times when he looked after me, made sure I was OK.
He didn’t complain, he didn’t whine, he didn’t have tantrums.
Where did this strength come from? A 9 year old facing such a horrible disease, painful and daily medicine and isolation for nearly 6 months and his response to this was to start a charity. Proud ? I used to hope I was Samuel’s hero, now he is mine.
Losing Samuel has changed so many things in my life and that of many others. Our family and friends grieve. We lean on each other and many of those bonds have strengthened through this time.
I have met many parents that have gone through this and those that have very ill children.
I see the look in parents eyes when I visit the wards. I know the look. I had it. It is the look of helplessness. Of not being able to protect your child from the pain, the fear and the sadness. It is the knowledge, hiding in the back of your mind, of what may happen.
Being able to put a smile on your child’s face is absolutely priceless. It is an escape from the constant annoyance of giving medicine (which is often uncomfortable or painful), it is a bit of normality, of fun and laughter. Of safety.
Our aim as a charity is to put a smile on kids’ faces in hospital. I know the value of this firsthand. But it was my nine year old son that taught me the real value of this and about selflessness and helping others even when you are ill yourself.
This is a tribute to one exceptional boy.
Your smile will never be forgotten, nor your laughter or your love. Now you have a legacy that is so fitting – a charity that helps other kids when they need it the most.
Goodnight my son, my hero. I love you xxxx
Samuel lost his battle on 22nd Jan 2014 to a very rare form of cancer, a Precursor T Cell Lymphoma, a Blood Cancer.