In March 2005, Trustee Graham Precey received an email from an exceptionally brave lady called Tracy.
Tracy had been diagnosed with an extremely rare form of sarcoma back in January 2002, just 18 months after the birth of her third daughter. Her email detailed some of the treatment she had undergone since that date. Some of it was extremely aggressive with the most distressing side effects.
In addition to the ordeal Tracy had been through, it soon became clear from her email how much the family as a whole were also suffering. Missing key family milestones and being too ill to do normal ‘mum’ things was hard enough for Tracy, but equally tough on her three girls, not to mention her poor husband. The lowest point came on her oldest daughter’s 13th birthday, when they received the news that all this treatment may not have been totally successful.
Some two and a half years later, however, having pushed herself to reach some personal goals that most people would take for granted (like collecting the children from school), Tracy read about 4 Cancer and sent her email enquiring, rather tentatively, if she and her family qualified for a holiday. They did!
They visited the Neilson resort of Sivota in September 2005 for a week and, oh boy, what a week they had! They really made the most of all the wonderful activities on offer. Charlotte, now 15, learned how to sail and was out on the water every hour possible, earning her a special award from the crew and the nickname of ‘Pico Princess’.
Kate celebrated her 8th birthday during the holiday, and EVERYONE made a great fuss of her, with birthday cakes, ice creams – and even free sweets from the shopkeepers in Sivota. At 5, Chloe was a little too young for the activities, but had great fun being ferried around on the speedboats and splashing about in the pool. She loved her nanny from the resort’s Kids Club and would happily have brought her home. Husband Steve participated fully in EVERY sport going both on and off the water including yoga!
Tracy was the real heroine of the week however. Commenting on her time away she said:
“I still can’t believe what I achieved at Sivota. My eldest child, Charlotte, has really been through the mill with my illness, so it was great to see her enjoying herself so much. She took me out sailing and it’s one of the hours of my life that I will always treasure. With help from my husband, I managed to try windsurfing, managing to float with a degree of grace! But he highlight for me was attempting to water-ski and succeeding! I never thought I would have the physical strength to do anything like that again.”