Tilly makes a splash in Rhodes

In January 2014, Tilly was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia after being unwell for a week with cold sweats and a temperature. At first, Sarah, Tilly’s mum thought it was a cold that hadn’t come out yet but she decided to take Tilly to the GP as she was particularly pale. The GP thought it was best that Tilly had a blood test and sent her to hospital straight away.

Just after 10pm, while Tilly and her older sister Mollie watched a video in the waiting room, Tilly’s parents were given the devastating news that she had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, cancer of the white blood cells.

I went to pieces and couldn’t breathe for a second. I heard the word ‘cancer’ and I thought we were going to lose her. I felt I would never smile again and it took all my strength to keep it together in front of the girls.
– Sarah, Tilly’s mum

Straight away, Tilly was taken to an isolation room and put on a drip. The staff let Tilly, Sarah, Mollie and their dad, Thain, stay together in the isolation room that first night but neither Sarah or Thain slept at all. Mollie spent the night, curled up on the bed next to Tilly.

Over the next two and a half years, Tilly endured daily chemotherapy, weekly blood tests, monthly steroids, frequent lumber punctures and numerous blood and platelet transfusions. Thankfully Tilly has now finished treatment and is doing well.

Throughout her treatment Tilly continued to smile and people would comment on what a happy little girl she is. I think Tilly thought that this is what happens when you’re small.
– Sarah, Tilly’s mum

Since finishing treatment, Tilly has started swimming lessons. Tilly absolutely loves water but she couldn’t have swimming lessons during treatment because her immune system was too low. She started swimming lessons in Easter and loves going down the big slide with her dad.

While Tilly was in hospital she was referred to Starlight for a wish. Since starting swimming lessons, she decided that she’d like to use her wish to go on a holiday with pools and parties.

We’ve never gone on a holiday where we’ve just sat by the pool but it was Tilly’s Starlight Wish and that’s what Tilly wanted to do. She spent every day splashing about and by the end of the week, everyone in the pool knew her and her giant inflatable turtle called ‘Rose’! We have all benefitted from sitting by the pool and relaxing – Tilly had the most an amazing time!
– Sarah, Tilly’s mum

We arranged for Tilly and her family to spend a week at Holiday Village Rhodes – the perfect destination for a water lover! With four outdoor pools complete with waterslides, a splash park and lazy river, it was everything Tilly dreamed of.

Tilly spent her days in the pool where she learnt to swim and the evenings at the kid’s club on the stage! Tilly loved getting dressed up every evening and entered every competition with the kid’s club for the chance to go up on stage and collect her certificate in front of everyone.