In 2014, Lyndsey attended a routine contact lens check-up. Whilst she was there, she asked for an eye test as she had been suffering badly from headaches and blurred vision. After much persuasion, the opticians performed the test. As a result of this eye test she was rushed to Manchester Eye Hospital with suspected papilledema (optic disc swelling which causes pressure on the back of the eye).
A week later Lyndsey had been diagnosed with a brain tumour called an oligoastrocytoma, stage 1. They operated straight away, managed to remove everything, and the outcome was good. Routine scans throughout the next 9 months all looked good, but then a year to the date, we were called back for the results of her fourth scan to be told the tumour had come back more aggressively, and had developed into a glioblastoma, stage 2. Another operation was planned with aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Things were looking up and in December 2011 we were given the news that Lyndsey’s tumour had gone. We were ecstatic and things started to look good again.
On Easter weekend of 2012, the symptoms of Lyndsey’s tumour started to reappear. We made the decision to go to the hospital for tests. The results were not good, the tumour was now at stage 4 and this time there was nothing they could do. Any operation would affect Lyndsey’s standard of living and any treatments would now be palliative. We were devastated.
During the early stages of Lyndsey’s illness, we had raised tens of thousands of pounds for brain tumour research as an umbrella charity for them called “Purple Heart Brain Tumour Fund” in the hope that a cure would come. As a result of Lyndsey’s diagnosis, we switched our fundraising to ensure Lyndsey had the chance to do everything she may want to do in her lifetime, as her greatest wish was to travel to Thailand and Vietnam. We raised a lot of money to fulfil that wish. Her doctors advised against that trip and told us she may never return but she did and she survived another 18 months after that.
During those 18 months, every day was filled with laughter, love, and excitement with her family and friends. We tried to do as much as possible to ensure she had the best days of her short life.
The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to service people in the USA who have been injured in conflict as a way to celebrate their heroism. As far as the family were concerned, Lyndsey was their hero. This is when we decided to launch Purple Heart Wishes.
The logo came from a hand drawn heart that Lyndsey had drawn in a birthday card to her mum which was found after she had passed away.
When I first met Sue (Purple Heart Wishes Founder), I found her story inspirational. The legacy she created in memory of Lyndsey and her dedication to helping those diagnosed with a terminal illness made it impossible for me to not want to be a part of it.
Everyone will know someone who is living with cancer, had cancer or lost someone to a terminal illness. Helping those individuals and their families make memories that will last a lifetime is the reason why being an ambassador was such an easy decision.
I first met Leigh (Purple Heart Wishes Co-Founder) when she attended one of my yoga classes; I christened her Aqua because of her mermaid hair! It was inevitable that we would become friends, as we are both a little on the side of quirky!
She told me about Purple Heart Wishes and what it meant to her. I suggested we do an event to raise money, which would combine my skills as a yoga teacher and hers as a DJ. Yoga Tribe was born. It was a roaring success that we have repeated and will do again to continue to raise funds for a charity I am now an ambassador for.
Why? Because it touched my heart, this legacy that has been created in memory of Lyndsey and is such a tribute to the family and the love they had for her. My business, Evolving Fitness, has gone on to raise funds with other events that we have participated in and my clients have taken Purple Heart Wishes under their wings. I look forward to being part of this for a long time to come.
Are you interested in becoming an ambassador?