In 2009, 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.
Meet the wonderful people behind the Purple Heart Wishes charity
Company and Funeral Director at Perry Jones Funeral Services
We are an independent funeral director supporting families across Manchester. We are a modern funeral home upholding traditional value. We will work with you to give your loved one the unique and personalized send-off they deserve. We understand that arranging the funeral of a loved one is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but we're here to offer help, support and guidance at every step. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I have the best family who understand that my personal values are also important as I spend a lot of my time involved in the local community; I am part of the: Waterloo Action Team and support the 'We Shall Overcome' campaign locally helping Pauline Town MBE with current initiatives.
I have also been involved in supporting Purple Heart Wishes for almost a year now with volunteering and spreading the word of what a great charity they are and all about their ethos to enable people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness to enjoy something special at the worst time of their life.
Being a funeral director, we care for quite a lot of people that have passed away in a hospice, sometimes people will arrange their funeral in advance with us, when they know their diagnosis is terminal. Being an ambassador of this charity means a lot to me, I have become more aware of what they do and feel I will be able to help Purple Heart Wishes to enter the local spiritus mundi, raise more awareness and funding and give me the opportunity to help grant wishes, to those people who really need it.
Branch Director at EweMove
We are an award winning estate agent
I will never be a millionaire. I get no joy in seeing a bulging bank balance. For me, my greatest joy is making other people happy and there is no greater outlet for this than Purple Heart Wishes.
Being alive and well is something we all take for granted but when I hear of some of the plights that young people face, it really saddens me.
I could choose to do nothing but that’s not me. Whether I’m pulling the pints at the Etihad or trekking across the UK in 10 days, it’s nice to know I’m doing something good for young adults who don’t have the luxury of a distant future.
I met Sue at BNI Masters and heard her story about Lyndsey, her daughter who died at just 29, which was the catalyst to get the charity going. Life is not a rehearsal, and we should grab it with both hands.
I will do whatever I can for Purple Heart Wishes and hope that I can inspire others to do the same.
Programme Lead at Manchester Metropolitan University
I am a 55-year-old husband and dad and live in Dane Bank, Denton. I work at Manchester Met where I lead the postgraduate programmes in the Department of Engineering. My day-to-day work involves teaching additive manufacturing to undergraduate and postgraduate students, working with companies to develop prototypes of new products and providing 3D printing taster days for local school kids.
I am a ‘techie’ and spent my early career writing video games for popular 8-bit home computers before moving into healthcare and eventually into teaching. I also have a love for good coffee and good food!
I heard about Purple Heart Wishes and decided to volunteer, working in the drink’s kiosks, and enjoying the live music concerts at the Etihad over the summer. I have lost my mum and brother to cancer in the last three years, so being able to do something nice and of great importance for adults with terminal illnesses has more relevance to me now. For me, volunteering gives back more than it takes. There is a genuine feeling that you’re doing something good.
In my free time, I like to go out running which is an opportunity to get some headspace and to enjoy being outdoors. Sometimes if I am being a bit grumpy, my wife Janet will put my running shoes at the door and say, ‘Go for a run!’ as she knows I will come home happier than when I left.
We have recently got a whippet puppy called Tom who is like a missile when he runs and way too fast for me! In time, he will join me on my runs too.
I had always had an ambition to run The Wainwright Way across the UK and managed to complete it in 10 days this summer with my running pal Liam Mellon. People started to ask me if I was doing it for a charity, so it made sense to run for Purple Heart Wishes and we raised about £2500. The run was great, but the best part was meeting new people from all over the world, staying in strange places and waking up each day with only running through the countryside as the aim.
I am proud to be an ambassador and volunteer for Purple Heart Wishes.
I have always tried to do my bit for charity, in the past running half marathons and taking part in golf days. I was always involved in raising money for Macmillan because of the care they gave to my late grandparents.
I first met Sue at our networking group and hearing her story really hit home. Having 4 children myself, I could not bear to think what I would do, if I was to lose any of them due to illness. Hearing Sue’s story of her daughter Lyndsey made me want to help and do my bit for the people that are going through a similar situation to that of Sue and Lyndsey.
Sue started the charity in memory of her daughter Lyndsey and everything she has done has been outstanding. I am certain Lyndsey would be looking down so proud of the selfless work Sue does to ensure other families can do that one thing they have always wanted to do before their loved one leaves.
I hope to be able to support Purple Heart Wishes with their worthwhile cause and the first massive challenge for me personally is to overcome my fear of heights and jump out of a perfectly good plane. It’s just the start of my journey toward helping Sue promote, raise awareness and money for this amazing charity.
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.
Ambassadors help to raise awareness of our work, by attending events to talk about us and encourage others to get involved in fundraising activity. This is a really important role as it helps us to reach new people, inspire new fundraising activity, and thank our supporters for the work they are doing.
This is a voluntary role which involves inspiring people to support the charity, educating people about what we do, and increasing the geographical reach of the charity.