Our Story So Far...
Thanks for finding your way here, I'll be sharing other content from our #helptherobinsons campaign on the blog, but here's a snapshot that'll bring you up to speed a bit quicker.
Meet the Robinsons, that's us in the picture, Sam (Dad), Lauren (Mum) and Molly (our beautiful little girl). Life has been a somewhat challenging for us over recent years and in July of 2019 following Lauren's hard fought battle with breast cancer, we were delivered the devastating blow that the disease at spread to her bones and was incurable. This meant at just 30 years old she had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or 'Life Limiting' as the doctors preferred to call it.
Like most we lived month to month financially and due to Lauren being made redundant between her original diagnosis and the spread of her cancer, the employee life assurance that we had assumed would provide security was lost and it was too late to be able to secure life insurance. So we were faced with the impossible situation that we didn't know how much time we would have left as a family and how many of our dreams we could afford to fulfill together. So we turned to crowd funding and couldn't believe the sheer magnitude of love, support and generosity that we received.
#helptherobinsons was born
I launched the Lauren Robinson Benefit Fund in July 2019 with the sole aim of ticking off as many of our family bucket list items as we possibly could and started to promote it under the hashtag #helptherobinsons. In the first 3 months we were blessed to have raised £19,000 through the page, a family fun day and a great fundraising football match. This funded some of the biggest items on our bucket list, we were able to travel to Disney World Orlando, visit one of Lauren's closest friends in Australia as well as sharing a tonne of days out, and short breaks as a family.
The difference a year makes
Fast forward to July 2020 and having spent the last 5 months together in lockdown due to COVID-19 (which we counted as a blessing) we were dealt a double blow. Not only did we find out that I'd been made redundant, losing our only source of income and throwing us into even more financial uncertainty. But, as difficult as that news was and whilst we always knew the time would come, it paled into insignificance when we were also told that due to Lauren's cancer infiltrating her bone marrow and reducing her ability to form blood cells that it was no longer safe to give her treatment, meaning that she wouldn't have long left. The phrase the Macmillan nurse used was 'It'd be wise to get your affairs in order, don't put off to tomorrow what can be done today'.
It crushed us, we'd never really given up hope that Lauren would be able to live with cancer for a number of years, so to be told that the treatment wasn't working and to have that hope ripped away was really the hardest part of our journey yet. But true to form Lauren took it on the chin, and still hoped for our time to be used making memories together as a family. So we rebooted our efforts on our GoFundMe campaign and for following few weeks tried to do as much as we could within Lauren's capabilities raising an additional £28,000. Which was there to help us continue to make memories, but also knowing that we could lose Lauren at anytime it'll provide some security so that I needn't worry about having to get back to work straight away, but could still keep the roof over our heads and bills paid.
Twinkle Twinkle Brightest Star
Sadly over the course of that month Lauren's health deteriorated and by the time we reached August, even the small things the medical teams could do to help relieve her pain, lift her energy and give her strength weren't helping. We agreed for Lauren to be admitted to our local hospice for symptom support and were hoping that they could get on top of her pain, restless legs and fatigue, so that she could come home and we could continue to make the most of our time together. But on the day she arrived at the hospice her pain was the worst it had been and that night 05 August 2020 Lauren slipped away peacefully to take her place among the stars. Rest in peace my beautiful angel.
When Life Gives You Lemons...
It's been over 3 months since I lost the love of my life and Molly lost the best mum she could have asked for and it's not been an easy ride, but we had over 1500 people support us through our crowdfunding page and we've learnt so much along the way. So, Making Lemonade is here, it's a blog, journal, diary and will be a chance for all those who've supported us to keep up to date with everything going on with the Robinsons and hopefully we'll be able to share our experiences to help others walking this tight rope and dealing with things like terminal illness, grief and bereavement. On top of that we'll be trying to inspire others by reviewing all of the fun things that we do in our life after loss and sharing content about days out, holidays and anything else we might do to keep making lemonade!
Thanks for reading and being a part of our journey!