Those of you who have been here for a while will know that my little niece has been fighting Stage 4 cancer for the past few months. When a relative is diagnosed with cancer it affects and devastates the whole family, children in particular find it confusing and difficult. Throughout Olivia’s battle her older brothers have been just as strong; loving, protecting and comforting her every step of the way. At just eleven and six, these boys have been inspirational and so brave even though they have themselves been at times confused, upset and angry.
It has been so important to my sister and her husband that they keep as much normality as possible to their daily routines, as difficult as this is with operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy taking up so much of the week. The boys live and breathe rugby, they are dedicated to their team and Owen in particular spends most of his free time training, studying his heroes and perfecting his kicking. For them, rugby has been their ‘norm’, their ‘constant’ throughout their sisters battle and we couldn’t be more proud of everything that they have and continue to achieve through the toughest of times.
We could never have imagined the support that the local, regional and international rugby community has given to the family, it has been completely overwhelming and not ‘normal’ at all. Just after diagnosis she received hundreds of messages from around the world, a card from her beloved
future husband George North, aswell as club players, Welsh Internationals, the England team and many, many more. All three were invited to the Millennium Stadium to meet the players and spend the day watching them train, Livvs got to meet George and give him a picture she drew of him (no kisses though Georgey, Daddy said!) and they were given tickets to World Cup matches to enjoy as a family.
This weekend though the boys were given something just for them, that they will be able to cherish forever. Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams posted a video on his Facebook and Twitter just for them. I was lying in bed and a friend tweeted me with a link to the video and just after my phone started to go crazy! As I watched it tears started rolling down my cheeks. I’m so so proud of my two boys and they truly deserve the recognition they received from their hero, both for their rugby achievements and the loving brothers that they are. They were ecstatic and it has given them such a boost. Just a minute of his time has made a massive impact and will be treasured for years to come.
A quick message for Logan and Owen who both play for Beddau RFC.Posted by Shane Williams MBE on Friday, 9 October 2015
I can’t end this post without a mention to our local rugby club who have been absolutely remarkable, they raised thousands for Latch, the children’s cancer charity in Wales, with sponsored head shaves, bike rides and even the minis climbed Pen Y Fan just weeks after a massive £20,000 for another cancer charity, the support has been phenomenal. It has taken me so long to write this post and I still can’t find the words to sum up or do justice to what has been achieved – Thank you will never be enough. I’m so proud of where I come from and no matter where I am in the world, no matter what results our team get, I will always wear the red jersey with pride.
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