At the start of 2020 one of our patients Jemily Brown’s (Jem) Husband Tim decided to start an Instagram diary called “Happy Crappy New Year”. This heart felt and at times humorous account give’s an insight into the ups and downs of a young family dealing with cancer and a really unique view into hospice life.
“At the beginning of 2020 when everyone was wishing each other a Happy New Year on social media, I thought no it’s not going to be a happy new year for us 2020 is going to be a real roller coaster” explained Tim “So we came up with the idea of starting the Instagram project, a way that we can look back and see that there were good days along with the bad and make some really special memories”
In 2017 Jem (now 36) was diagnosed with a very rare cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei it affects about 2 in a Million people and is known as “Jelly Belly” a cancerous Jelly fills the abdomen and sticks itself to organs. Having undergone a huge 12 hour operation and chemotherapy Jem is now under palliative care.
The Instagram page is full of beautiful photos of Jem, Tim and their daughter Mayana making special memories a 10.5 birthday celebration for Mayana (which was put together in 90 minutes) a baby shower for Jem’s sister in law, a surprise theatre visit for Jem alongside everyday life like Tim’s root canal!
“I didn’t think I would be popping champagne corks from a hospice balcony. It’s just not what most people imagine, it’s not an old dark Victorian building which is full of people dying it’s light and bright and full of life” said Tim “I’ve stayed in far worse hotel rooms than the rooms here at Woking Hospice and been sat on the balcony enjoying the most amazing bacon and egg sandwich!”
The facilities at the Hospice allow visitors to stay overnight meaning that families like Jem, Tim and Mayana can spend precious time together making memories.
“The last weeks have been a real eye opening journey into life at the incredible Woking Hospice, the level of care has blown us away and it has been a real blessing to us as a family. I knew so little about hospices before our stay and I am now so motivated to help make others less scared of the thought of them”
If you would like to help us to continue providing this unique care to families like Jem, Tim and Mayana you can make a donation here.
Jemily Brown passed away peacefully at Woking Hospice on the 18 Feb 2020.