Tuesday, 09 June 2015

One family and their dog were given a seaside holiday to remember thanks to the kindness of Watford Football Club who donated a holiday cottage in Padstow to Peace Hospice Care.

Benefiting from their generosity was Fiona Myers who was  first diagnosed with cancer in 2012.

For Fiona, and her husband David, and daughter Teshia, the gift of a holiday was a perfect opportunity to take time out to relax, unwind, escape the devastation of her diagnosis and just be a 'normal' family again.

'We felt so fortunate to get the chance to go away together,' said Fiona.

'I had been going through a terrible time with my diagnosis. The doctor had told me it was progressing quickly.  At one point I did not think I would see Christmas. I had been feeling so wiped out and cranky all the time. I had been exhausted and very emotional. We all had. Financially, cancer is crippling.  I was not well enough  to work. The loss of income is a huge worry followed by the nightmare of trying to sort out benefits.'

Peace Hospice Care Senior Social Worker Doreen Pattenson, had recognized the immense strain that Fiona and her family were living under and put them forward for the complimentary break.

'The holiday opportunity came from Watford FC who had won the break in an auction bid,' said Doreen'  It was clear that a break in Devon could benefit Fiona and her family.  Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is devastating emotionally, physically and financially on a whole family.'

Fiona was delighted to have the chance to relax in the West Country.

'I couldn't believe it,' said Fiona.  'We could take Charlee the dog as well. That was just fantastic. A big bonus. Charlee is part of the family. '

So with their four legged friend by their side, Fiona and family settled into Poppies Cottage in Padstow for a soothing Easter vacation.

Sea air, good food, and time together proved to be a perfect combination.

'We went to the beach every day and walked and walked and walked,' said Fiona. 'I grew up in Australia and spent a lot of time on the beach and being in Padstow was like going back to familiar scenery.  I felt like a normal person again instead of someone with cancer going to appointments and listening to doctors and worrying about illness and end of life.  It really made us all so much more positive. It was just what we needed as a family.'I thank Doreen, the Hospice, Watford FC and the cottage owner for giving one family precious time together. We took so many photos and had so much fun. It was wonderful. Time out together did make such a difference to us all.'

For Fiona's daughter Teshia, it meant everything. 'I could see the difference in mum.  She was healthier and happier and very comfortable by the sea,' she said. 'We all really needed that shared moment. It came at just the right time.'

Peace Hospice Care wish to thank all those involved in the donation of the Padstow holiday cottage - MK Snap, Diana Harris (Poppies Cottage) and Watford FC.