Joan’s heartfelt thanks to all our supporters
15 Dec 2020
A guest who stayed at one of our respite properties has sent heartfelt thanks to our charity’s supporters for making her holiday possible.
Retired health visitor Joan Linley, 69, visited our house at The Bay, Filey, in the summer with her daughter and son-in-law and her grandchildren.
On her return Joan wrote to us to say she thought the house was wonderful. She wrote: “My heart is so full of gratitude to you all for giving me and my family such a gift…the kindness of all who give to York Against Cancer is so much appreciated.”
Joan was treated for breast cancer just before the coronavirus pandemic and during her tests it was discovered that she also had chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
The good news was that the leukaemia was not at a level that required treatment, and investigations revealed her breast cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes.
She had surgery and radiotherapy and is now on hormone treatment, with her condition being monitored.
“I feel as if I am over the breast cancer,” said Joan. “It is a bit worrying that leukaemia is in the background, but I don’t feel unwell so I have tried to ignore it.
“Unfortunately, coronavirus meant that I got told to shield, but I am very grateful for everything that I have – a home, a family, a pension and my Christian faith.”
Joan found out about our free respite holidays while visiting the Cancer Care Centre at York Hospital, the ‘one-stop shop’ for advice and support that we established through a fundraising appeal.
“I went to have a look around and I saw the leaflet and I applied and got a holiday,” said Joan. “It was a very special time and I felt I was able to give my family good things instead of these diagnoses.”
In her letter, Joan told how, during her stay at The Bay, she had remarked to her 15-year-old granddaughter that she felt slightly jealous of another family who clearly owned a nearby property.
“My 15-year-old granddaughter replied, ‘yes, but they will never experience the joy and excitement we have had by coming here, because it’s normal for them.’
“That sentence was a gift to me and, I hope, to you,” wrote Joan.
Our General Manager, Julie Russell, said she and everyone at York Against Cancer had been moved by Joan’s letter.
“We want our guests to have a wonderful family time, away from the cares they may be facing during their illness, so it is lovely to hear that we made a difference for Joan and her family.
“We thank her for her letter and wish her and her family all the very best for the future.
“We also thank all our fundraisers and supporters who have made it possible for us to do this for local people living with cancer, and their families.”
You can read the whole text of Joan’s letter below:
Dear York Against Cancer,
I am just back from a four-night stay in your wonderful house at The Bay. My heart is so full of gratitude to you all for giving me and my family such a gift.
Whilst I was there I kept thinking of all the time and effort York Against Cancer must have put in to make the place a reality. I want to tell you that it was the right decision entirely.
What a joy to have a positive experience with my family at the seaside. After months of frightening news and treatments (before Covid!) it was wonderful to be able to give them something good. As a family we would not have been able to afford such a luxurious break.
I have two granddaughters aged seven and 15. Whilst we were in Filey I said to the 15-year-old that I felt a bit jealous of a young family that I had seen who obviously owned one of the properties.
My 15-year-old granddaughter replied: “Yes, but they will never experience the joy and excitement we have had by coming here because it’s normal to them.” That sentence was a gift to me and, I hope, to you.
Thank you a million times. I hope I am finished with the breast cancer and that my chronic leukaemia stays in abeyance. I certainly feel better and stronger for the holiday and have a positive mindset to keep well.
The kindness of all who give to York Against Cancer is so much appreciated.