“I am a bereaved Mum of twin girls, Neve & Belle Boitelle, whom were diagnosed with infant Leukaemia in May 2013. I had never heard of the charity Candlelighters until that day. Myself and my family were introduced to Candlelighters the very next day after diagnosis.
We were provided with an amazing Social Worker, Dalvir (whose role is part-funded by Candlelighters) who talked us through his role and what and how he would be able to help us regarding support. Within a few weeks, we got to know Dalvir very well and he remained by our sides throughout our two year journey. He applied for a grant initially from Candlelighters to help us with immediate financial costs and that became the start of our journey with Candlelighters. Not only did he steer us in the direction of what benefits we could apply for whilst our children were in hospital, to help us financially, but he provided a wealth of emotional support and guidance along the way.
We were privileged to enjoy some quality time away from the hospital a year later, in which we were provided with a short break away to Filey (courtesy of Candlelighters). This was an immensely important time for our family to make memories and have our family all together, whilst our daughter was at home on maintenance chemotherapy.
We were invited to the annual Christmas Party at The Royal Armouries that year too – which is an event that happens for all families within Yorkshire, who have been affected by Childhood Cancer. Our daughter had the privilege of enjoying ‘normality’ for a few hours that day.
The Square at Candlelighters opened its door in March 2015. Our second daughter Belle had just passed away – The Square gave us a safe place to visit whilst we started our grieving process. Myself and my husband, Darren took up the many support services offered by Candlelighters which included massages, talking therapy, bereaved parent’s groups. Our eldest Son, Hiro also had talking therapy support and attended many Sibling’s Groups.
There is so much I could say about Candlelighters and the fantastic support they have (and still do) provide our family with, but I know I am not here to write a book!
We are now four years down the line of grieving and to be truthfully honest, without their support, compassion and understanding, I’m not sure we’d be here where we are and the people we are today!
Candlelighters is a family that once you join, will never, ever leave your side! They truly understand and are the only people we have entered our lives that ‘get it’!
I can but say no more….”