Posted on Thursday 27 May 2021
There’s No Place Like Home – Hollie’s Story
All funds raised during the final year of Morrisons’ partnership with Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent) will go towards ‘Jack’s House’, a new Home from Home in Manchester that will provide free accommodation for young people receiving treatment at the hospital, and their families.
Since 17 May, Morrisons colleagues have been involved in Wizard of Oz-themed fundraising in stores for the charity’s There’s No Place Like Home campaign.
Hollie is an example of a young person who would have really benefited from the new Home from Home. The 18-year-old was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2019 after a cancerous tumour was found on her pelvis. Her treatment involved a lot of travelling to and from hospital – each hour-long journey from her home near Blackburn was excruciatingly painful – and then a six-month stay in a hotel. Now in remission and doing well, Hollie is excited for the people who will experience the Home from Home in Manchester, thanks to Morrisons.
Here, Hollie describes the massive difference the Home would have made to her experience of facing cancer:
“I came to dread those journeys to hospital and got to a point where I thought, ‘Do I even want to get in the car?’ as I was in so much pain.
I had 14 rounds of chemotherapy at The Christie hospital in Manchester and then after that I had surgery in Birmingham to remove the entire right side of my pelvis.
At the beginning, the travelling was a real issue as I was in a lot of pain and then as it got to the end (of the treatment) I was so exhausted all of the time that I just didn’t want to get into the car. I could feel every bump in the road – I was in an excruciating amount pain.
My family and I stayed in an apartment hotel in the dead centre of Manchester. It was really strange being on treatment in such a busy city because all you want is a bit of quiet and you got anything but that. The hotel was right next to Piccadilly Station and really close to a line of fast food restaurants. When you have cancer you’re very sensitive to certain smells, so as I went in and out of the apartment I’d be throwing up at the side of the road because the fast food smell made me sick.
The hotel was where all the adults from The Christie stayed during treatment. There wasn’t much a teenager could do and it felt like a hospital out of a hospital. It was just empty walls and you felt like you were staying somewhere completely alien.
If I’d been able to stay at a Home from Home in Manchester it would have made me feel more safe and more secure. It’s just small little things like the homely aspects that make a really big difference. The fact that not every room is a carbon copy of the next and that it feels like a home. Having things like a games room, a little book corner, that almost seem insignificant but they make a massive difference when you’ve lost everything else.”
- All the money raised from the last year of Morrisons’ partnership with Young Lives vs Cancer will open a brand new Home from Home in Manchester.
- Jack’s House pin badges are now available in store for a suggested £1 donation and will help give young people like Hollie and her family a free place to stay near their cancer treatment.
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