During 2012, Hannah was seriously ill having developed an aggressive acute leukaemia. Her treatment was quite complicated particularly early on. However, she made a good recovery following treatment and is now much better.
Hannah’s dream request was to go to Florence in Italy and visit the Uffizi museum. In her words “I am studying French and Spanish at Uni and have a passion for languages. This has sustained me through my illness and treatment. I love the romantic languages and wish to travel as much as possible. I studied classical Greek and Latin at school and love the history of Rom. I loved going to Rome when I was at school and would love to see Florence for its history and influence during the Renaissence.”
This is the fantastic email that we received from Hannah’s mum Maggie “For me, all I can say is that our holiday will go down as one of the most special, exiting and poignant experiences in my life. In that week, I went through a mix of emotions -
I felt gratitude for the generosity that others have given to provide such opportunities and I was reminded of how many others benefit in the same way. There was a connection with other parents whose children have suffered, alongside a sense of deep gratitude that Hannah is here with me.
I pinched myself that we were getting this opportunity and only believed that it was happening when we actually arrived. Because it was associated with a huge amount of pain, it was confusing to feel happiness for something that resulted from Hannah's awful illness. At times, I felt guilty for enjoying myself. At the same time, both Hannah and I recalled the moments, when Hannah was receiving her gruelling treatment in hospital, that we would cling onto the holiday as something that she could look forward to when she recovered. It provided hope through some very bleak days.
The greatest sense of happiness came from simply sitting back and watching my precious daughter soak up the art, culture and history of Florence, while she tried to educate me about the Renaissance. I actually felt blessed that we were experiencing these moments because the journey to this place was an arduous one. We had no choice but to return to our busy lives after Hannah's illness and there was little chance to actually get to grips with what had happened......Florence, however, is a very beautiful and calming destination which provided the space to reflect, recover and recharge. It was such a special time in my life.
I can only express my deepest thanks to the Dreams Come True charity and say that this was so much more than a holiday.
Author: Hannah Attenburrow
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