Recently we had the privilege, and I don't use that word lightly, to visit the beautiful Isla smiler. We were contacted by a mutual friend who thought that a visit from Monty and Cookie would be something that would put an extra wide smile on Isla's face. To put the visit into context I have put a summary of what happened with Isla by her mum Katherine.
'On the 12 the august 2017 Isla woke up and tried to get herself out of bed. She managed a few steps down and then fell to the floor. I came in as I heard her quietly crying and she said her legs were not working. After visiting the doctor and then to A&E and up to the CAU. She had the most horrible night ever and was then moved to ward 11 and she was given a possible diagnosis of longitudal transverse myelitis. Update 13/04/2018vAfter surgery and radiotherapy Isla smiler has been diagnosed as having a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma DIPG, the mutation of the tumour means that there are no other treatment options and the oncology team felt that the tumour is progressing. The news when we were told was devastating and continues to be so but we will never give up hope or doing our best to enjoy our precious time together. I just wanted to share this and raise awareness of childhood cancer as there is very little funding into this area of research. At some point we will do some awareness and fund raising.
All the way through Isla has been beautiful and golden and her story of positivity and amazing support is here documented in Facebook. As a family we will take it day by day and face this together because that is what we do'.
We really wanted to visit and thought a story time with Monty and Cookie would be something Isla would enjoy, and we took a little friend in the form of a cuddly Slobbernosserus. Our visit was a very humbling experience as we saw a family who have been dealt the cruellest of hands but are determined to fill Isla's world with laughter and positive experiences. The whole family are truly inspirational as is this amazingly brave and beautiful 7 year old who never stopped chatting and smiling throughout our visit.
One of the things that the family have done is the #islastones Facebook page which has captured the imagination of around 5000 people and growing fast. It's all about painting a stone, whatever your ability and then hiding it. The description on the back asks people who find the stone to take a photo and post it to the page before re-hiding it.
In this very busy world we all live in please take five minutes to have a look on the page and even if you can't take part you will already be helping raising awareness of this awful disease that is childhood cancer.