Remembering Spencer

11 August 2010

Sail 4 Cancer pride ourselves in recognising that a cancer diagnosis does not just affect the individual who is ill but the whole family unit.  One such example of this was Amanda’s story.

Amanda’s little boy, Spencer, was diagnosed in December 2006 with widespread Neuroblastoma (at the age of two).  Spencer underwent a number of different treatments over the proceeding year including a biopsy, insertion of a central line, surgery, a stem cell transplant, chemotherapy and three weeks of radiotherapy which involved him having a general anaesthetic daily for the full three weeks at the Royal Marsden Hospital.  Sadly, despite this the cancer returned several months later and Spencer passed away peacefully at home in January 2008.

The family’s ordeal not only left them dealing with the grief of their very sad loss but it also affected them in many other ways.  A friend of the family wrote to Sail 4 Cancer and nominated the family for a holiday.  Sail 4 Cancer sent Amanda, her husband and daughter on a Neilson holiday to Halkidiki in Greece.

The holiday gave the family an opportunity to spend time together as a family, away from the constant reminders and to think about how they wanted to move forward with their lives and remember Spencer.

Amanda was left with low self confidence following the traumatic time her family had experienced and the holiday gave her lots of opportunities to try new things and to help rebuild her confidence. Amanda even went for her level one dinghy certificate whilst she was out there!

Amanda said:

“The best thing for me was seeing my daughter, Amalia, sailing solo in very windy conditions!  She had an amazing time and certainly for us as a family it was truly an amazing experience and one we shall treasure for ever. We can not thank Sail 4 Cancer enough for giving us this amazing opportunity to reunite as a family and help us through the grieving process.”

The family were so inspired by their experience they have set up their own charity called Remember Spencer which provides grants to support families with children living with cancer.  You can find out more about Amanda’s story at

Sail 4 Cancer help lots of people like Amanda but we can only do that with the support of our amazing supporters and fundraisers.  Thank you.

Remembering Spencer
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