With two weeks to go till our Willowbrook Fashion Show, we wanted to share with you a story about Becky, who uses our Outreach Services and has volunteered to be one of our models for the fashion show.
“In January 2021, after experiencing three tonic, clonic seizures without any warning and no symptoms prior, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. There are many different types of brain tumours but I have a diffuse, low grade glioma, astrocytoma. I had brain surgery where a large amount of the tumour was removed. I then received 30 sessions of radio therapy to my brain and 12 months of chemotherapy to try and slow down the progression of the remaining tumour that can’t be removed due to its dangerous position.
I’m taking part in the Willowbrook fashion show, firstly because I’m so grateful for everything they’ve done for me, I wanted to give something back by helping to raise money for the charity. I also want to do it as I think it would be fun and an achievement after everything I’ve been through.
I use the Outreach Service at Willowbrook Hospice because I feel it really helps me mentally and physically. I’ve learned ways to help myself relax and to even help me fall asleep. I didn’t know much about Willowbrook before, only that it’s a highly sought-after hospice for people who are terminally ill.
I had never heard of the outreach service until after being referred to the pain management clinic at the Clatterbridge centre in Liverpool. I was told that they could support me with any concerns or worries I might have for myself or my family.
I’m really happy I agreed to it. The outreach service has the most wonderful staff and volunteers. It’s been such a pleasure attending and getting to know everyone there and also meeting and talking to other patients.
Initially I was offered a 6 week course of complementary therapy, 1-1 with the lovely Kelly, where I received reflexology and massages on my back, arms, hands and legs. It was extremely relaxing and something I really looked forward to.
When the 6 weeks were up, Kelly told me I could refer myself back to do another course if and when I felt it would be beneficial such as the 8 week course of guided meditation but that this would be with a small group of patients.
I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t sure this would be for me as I’d really enjoyed the 1:1 sessions but I decided to give it a try, hoping that it might be good to meet other people going through similar situations. As I am no longer able to drive, I was told a volunteer could pick me up and drop me off so I didn’t have to worry about transport either.
Since being on treatment, I’ve really suffered from fatigue and I spend a lot of time sleeping whilst my husband and children are at work and school and the days would just pass by.
The first time I attended the group, I was greeted by the wonderful Dorothy on reception. She phoned me that morning to check I was coming in, and when I arrived at the Cedarwood, she gave me a lovely welcome along with a hug.
Each week, the morning before the sessions, Dorothy would call to check if I was attending and would ask if I needed a volunteer to pick me up. There were some mornings, when I woke up and felt too tired to attend and just wanted to go back to sleep, but Dorothy would lovingly, encourage me to try and give myself a little push to see if I could get there and it always worked and was exactly what I needed.
I always felt so much better for going. I’d get a lovely cup of tea, coffee or water on arrival and was offered a biscuit and then after the amazing foot soak, massage and guided meditation, which by the way is absolute bliss and something everyone should try, they would offer everyone sandwiches, a cake and another cup of tea or coffee and a chat with the staff and other patients. I highly recommend the outreach service at Willowbrook, and really looking forward taking part in the fashion show and helping to raise funds for an amazing cause!”
To find out more about our fashion show or to buy tickets, please click here: https://willowbrook.org.uk/willowbrook-fashion-show-2023/
You can follow Becky’s inspirational Brain Tumour story here.