As well as your care packs, FOJO is there to provide additional help. The support FOJO gives local patients is completely tailored to their needs. Meet three local patients in our short film, and hear how they were supported through their journey.
I remember feeling so tired. Then I had all these symptoms - but they didn’t add up. I just knew something wasn’t right. I was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma. My chemo began almost straight away.
FOJO were there for me the whole time - organising cleaners, childcare, paying for my children’s flights to see me in the UK. That practical help makes such a difference, you can’t imagine.
When you see firsthand what it’s like to go through it, it makes you determined to support FOJO for others. This year my husband ran the London Marathon for FOJO - and the support was absolutely phenomenal. We’ve raised over £5,000.
What would I say to someone in my situation? I’d say - this is completely doable. You can do this.
Portelet is one of my favourite beaches. Last year I couldn’t get down the steps to the beach. Now I can. These steps aren’t a barrier any more, they’re a symbol of how far I’ve come.
I’d just had my daughter. I’d planned a year off to spend with her - it was going to be wonderful. We were on holiday, and I started feeling really tired. I thought it was just having a new baby, the heat. Then I found a lump in my stomach. The day after my MRI, the consultant called me to say, you’re flying to London tomorrow.
I was in a daze. It was only when I walked into the Royal Marsden and saw the words CANCER on the front of the hospital that I realised what was going on. I was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma in November and the chemo started in December.
My first thought was - am I going to lose my hair? My world turned upside down - I was planning on enjoying a year off with my new baby, and here I was with cancer.
Kerry Burnett was my chemo nurse. She was amazing. FOJO was still in its infancy then, it was something Kerry was planning. She was building the blueprint of FOJO from what I needed.
Thanks to FOJO we have a vein finder, nurses trained in specialist techniques, more money to pay for a wig, and things like gel nails - because you lose your nails if you don’t paint them, and the end of treatment gift.
When you’re first diagnosed with cancer, it feels like a nightmare. FOJO’s mission is how to make that awful situation a bit softer round the edges. If you have to go to Southampton for treatment, not everyone’s in a financial situation to think about having their children looked after, or put their cat in a cattery for example. We assess that and help where we’re needed.
What would I say to someone who’s going through this? This is going to be a rollercoaster. But there is no doubt that you’re going to do this. Look in the mirror every single day and say Chemo is my friend. That positive mental attitude is everything.
For me, it’s five years on. We’ve raised so much money for FOJO, £5,000 from a football event, a trek to Morocco, and every single penny stays in Jersey.
I wouldn’t have done any of this if I hadn’t gone through cancer. What’s helped me has been helping others.
When I started my treatment, FOJO was in its infancy. Kerry Burnett who was setting it up was my dedicated nurse, and we spent the first few long chemotherapy sessions together talking about her plans. That was where a lot of the original ideas came from - what should go into the patient care packs, how people could get involved in fundraising.
I think FOJO helped me turn my experience into something that could be helpful for other people. It put things into perspective and gave me something to get my teeth into. If I was finding it hard to remember which pills to take and when, how could we make that easier for everyone? How could we support people who needed more help?
What would I say to people? Free up some of your precious time and accept the help you need. The most important thing you can do is spend quality time with your loved ones and rest. Focus on what’s important in life, curl up on the sofa with your kids or your husband. Give yourself something to look forward to. Don’t worry about the housework - we can help with that.
We’re only a small team of volunteers, so we really value the help of our supporters. Can you raise funds on our behalf, can you raise awareness of what we do, and let your friends and family know we’re here? Can you lend a hand at our fundraising events? Do you know a local organisation who’d like to be involved? Can you help us celebrate where our charity has been able to help people?
Being a small local charity, we can act quickly. So if you fundraise, that money could be making a real difference for a local cancer patient or their family in days, not weeks.