In November 2019 whilst on holiday in Cyprus my younger brother, 34years old and non- smoker, very athletic collapsed resulting in emergency Intensive Care Treatment.
With no prior medical history other than a persistent cough the whole experience came as a complete shock to both him and our wider family. I flew out to support his wife who was 6 months pregnant at the time and on holiday with their young daughter. Once stabilised and a few days later we were given the awful news that the medical emergency (fluid around the heart) was impacted by multiple cancers throughout his body, including lung, brain, and bones, liver.
Subsequent return to the UK and being told he was unlikely to see the birth of his daughter concluded a diagnosis of ALK (non-smoking lung cancer). Two years later including a return to Cyprus and unexpected family time with both his wife and daughters my brother to date continues to live a near normal life.
”I chose to volunteer for the Ruth Strauss Foundation (RSF) after both meeting Sir Andrew Strauss alongside my brother and hearing him speak so passionately about the foundation.
The emphasis on both enhancing research/treatment as well providing support to children who lose a parent as you can imagine had an instant connection. Having not volunteered before I was somewhat anxious about the process and whether I would fulfil the role adequately.
After initial contact with the RSF expressing my interest the support, care I received was fantastic. In November 2021 I attended a IAAFA charity ball supporting the team in raising money. The evening was highly successful raising significant funds. Although I contributed only a small part the sense of feeling part of the RSF volunteer team has been a great experience. Progressing forward I hope to support and would encourage anyone to volunteer.