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S&M There's a lot to this story and a nail biter further down, so please bear with me and scroll down. All of which is true and no, the above isn't an acronym for something else. You should be ashamed of yourself.

My name is Mike and way back in 2006 I met someone who changed my life forever and for the better. Her name is Sophie.

She came out to California, where I'm from, to visit her friend Tracey. We met in Las Vegas on 20th February on a sort of blind date weekend trip.

I had a great time that weekend. We really hit it off and spent the remainder of her trip in each others company. When she left, I wasn't so sure I would ever see her again. I went about my normal life back in California and can remember the day vividly when she got back in touch with me. I was elated that the girl that I met that weekend was actually interested in me.

In May that same year I made the trip out to see her and tour the UK. She picked me up in her VW Lupo, which btw was terrifying to be a passenger in at 80 mph on the motorway, but I couldn't stop admiring her looks.

This is a view from an equally small car at a high rate of speed while touring through Northern Ireland. Stone walls whizzing by left and right.

We visited The Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, NI. I'm a huge fan of Led Zeppelin and got to walk on the basalt pillars where the Houses of the Holy album cover was photographed. I never thought such a place existed. It. was. magical...

We made good use of the phone boxes.

And had some really nice Irish Whiskey.

A few more from The Giant's Causeway and Glenariff Forrest.

From the top left three, The Giant's Causeway, further down, Glenariff Forrest, and the cottages we stayed in Northern Ireland along the causeway coast.
We, or should I say, the Royal We, rowed a boat down and back up The River Avon in Stratford.
We went and saw so much that I would bore you to death if I listed it all. We visited Bourton-on-the-Water, Corfe Castle, and Lawrence of Arabia's grave, to name a few.
Then we went down to Bournemouth for a few nights.
And to Stonehenge.
Then back down to London.
I had a really crap steak dinner that night. I could remember that I had enough of the bouncing around and travelling and was in a mood. Then Sophie told me to shut up, stop complaining and eat my dinner. We had a lovely evening after I realised I was being foolish and picky. I had every reason to be happy because I was in her company.

Fast forward to 2010...

I asked, and she said yes!

Sophie and I married on 16th May 2010 in Ventura, California.

Fast forward to 2012...

Then we had a baby girl.

We named her Maisie Helen.

Maisie was born at Community Medical Hospital in Ventura, California. I'll never forget holding and comforting her that first night.

Fast forward to 2013...

In 2013 we decided to move to England. Maisie was only 10 months old.

Fast Forward to 2015...

Then we had a baby boy. We named him Frederick James.

He's still crying to this day...

So much has changed since then. Some hardships and many times of joy, but nothing would be able to prepare me for what life had in store for us next.

Three months after we moved into our new home. Sophie was diagnosed with Stage 4, Grade 3 Colon Cancer. It had metastisised to her liver and lymph nodes. The Oncologist gave her prognosis and a survival of 2-3 years with intensive Chemotherapy. Without it, only a matter of months. It felt like the floor had dropped out from under me.

Sophie is only 36 years old and has been a vegetarian for 15 years. The statistics for her to get this should be near impossible. To add fuel to the fire, her genetics testing has confirmed she has a rare gene mutation called BRAF v600e caused by damaged DNA which allowed the cancer to rapidly spread so quickly.

I am a positive thinking person and have always been. I want to believe she will fight this off although the doctor has said it is incurable and, in effect, will define the rest of her life.

All my family and many friends know that I am not one to ask for help unless I really need it. I think this is the one time I truly do. The moral support has been overwhelming. Workmates who have never had the occasional chat have reached out to offer anything, if only a short conversation to see how me and my family are. These little acts keep me going day to day.

I am the sole provider for our family and when I take a day off or a holiday, I don't get paid. I'm unable to claim any state benefits as well, as I am not a citizen of the UK and therefore, not entitled to. I don't know what will happen in the near future with Sophie's treatment or if she'll respond to the Chemo, but I want to be able to be there for her and to be able to support my children through this hard time.

I know it's a big ask, but I would like to make the most of the time I have with her and for the kids to make the lasting memories. I am in need of financial support to take time off work if I need to. Maybe a month or two when the times get tough. The funds raised will go to supporting my household and children. There is also the possibility that Sophie would respond well to Immunotherapies. These are unfortunately not yet licensed in the UK. They are in the US but are prohibitively expensive. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of £150,000. Praying that all goes well and she fights it off, the remainder will go to Cancer Research so this could possibly be one day, beaten.

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