Weʼre raising £1,200 to help my ill wife see New York at Christmas.
- Southampton, UK
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My wife Alison was once a fit, hard working mother and a Retail Manager. I worked in London doing nightshift for 16 years. Although we never saw alot of each other because of our shifts we always made sure our weekends together would be full of love and laughter. In 2014 we got married in Greece. Life was good.
In 2015 my wife had a stroke and I took time off work to care for her. She improved for a short time and went back to work after a few months. You see, Alison hates to sit around, doing nothing, its just not in her DNA. However, over time she had to quit the job that she loved. Manager of a sweetshop in which she developed a relationship which all the regular customers and their kids. She is infectious like that. Long hours and the physicality of the job saw her collapse. This time it was a TIA(minor stroke) and she was advised to stop work and to recover. This brought on depression and the wife I married had become a shell of a woman. I took more time off and in the end I quit to become a fulltime carer.
2016 and I went back to work, just part time so I could still do the chores at home when I finished. Debts where mounting and the rent was getting paid, leaving us with not much more. But to me, that was ok. I just wanted my wife to get better. Me and Alison was still having to attend hospital appointments due to the fact that her left side had not improved much and fatigue was also a major issue as she was still having to look after herself while I was not present. December that same year, Alison was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a long-term (chronic) condition that can cause widespread pain and tenderness over much of the body. It's quite common – up to 1 person in every 25 may be affected. In the past, other terms were used to describe the condition, including muscular rheumatism and fibrositis. The condition may even have been misdiagnosed as degenerative joint disease. The pain can be discribed by my wife as having toothache in your limbs. She can cry out from a pain in a toe to having back pain that is so bad that laying is even uncomfortable. Some nights, I would sleep on the couch due to her condition because she would struggle to get comfortable. Restless legs and breathlessness due to her TIA where still evident.
Alison could no longer get washing out of a machine. Or put clothes out on the line. This is due to us being in a flat with steps that seem to become a mountain to her. Sometimes she would sit on a stair and cry because of the pain and also the fact that things that we take for granted she could not do. Well, not without her getting upstairs and looking like she had done the London Marathon. Alison was 40 years old. She now seemed like 80. It would break my heart seeing her like it. Even walks outside became non existant. Alison became a prisoner in her own home. She would no longer answer the phone or deal with anything financial or problematic. All confidence was gone. Anxiety replaced that.
In time Alison got the medication, support and help. My wife is almost back. In mind at least. She still struggles to get around but copes better now I am home to help.
In 2018 Alison was awarded for her condition. We sorted debts and other problems that had amassed over time. That relieved some pressure. Then i suggested something. We had always wanted to go to New York for Christmas. My wife is Christmas crazy. I mean...crazy. "Go with your best friend to NY." I said. "you won't get another chance." Her face lit up for the first time in years. It was too costly for both of us to go, so to share the experience with her best friend would be just as special. Both booked their holiday and then awaited to pay the rest.
Four days later our car was hit and it was deemed scrap. It was a 2004 KA, so it had been around the block a few times. Alisons money for her holiday was now ploughed into a car. A 2008 ford. Nothing flash. It was in one hand and then snatched out with the other.
In March my wife had a node discovered on her lung. Nothing to worry about for now but it will be monitored. Then in June, a tumour was found on her brain. Neurologists seemed to think that this may have caused her stroke and the continuing problems to her left side. Suddenly, New York might as well have been a trip to the moon. Her mind was elsewhere. She aged over night.
Today when I write this, we are on the brink of moving into a first floor flat, for which the coucil are assisting. Away from the busy roads and smoke fumes. A smaller place and hopefully a new start and some good luck. Of course with this comes more costs. With me home and looking after my gorgeous girl any money saved is now going towards moving. I have sold items of mine to try and get together the money needed for her to still live her dream. I have £153 in a jar at the back of my wardrobe. I wanted to try and do it myself but I will fail. Deep down, Alison has conceded defeat in going to the US. She never talks about it. Its just hospitals, appointments and now the move. Thats why I am asking for help.
Alison will hurt. She will ache. She said that herself when she booked it back in Febuary. Websites with carriage rides through Central Park, Ground Zero, toy shops and lots of lights and tinsle. That was all she spoke about back then. It was wonderful to see. She even activated a countdown clock on her tablet.
Her family have been negative about it. About how she will cope with four days in the city. Plus the flight there and back. I can see their point. But sometimes you need a dream. Some positivity. To look forward to something that has now become nothing. She knows she will struggle. She will be tired. But her friend, who has known her longer than me (20 years) understands her and I trust her. She might come home and fall onto the couch. But, boy will she have memories to tell me. The sights and laughs. The pictures and her smile, which I have not seen on an image since our wedding. I will be ready to look after her. I just want her to experience something which was once a dream, then a reality, now an unwanted thought.
Help me please. Just to light a spark in her life. Even if its just for four days. Love and memories can last a lifetime. Unfortunately my beautiful wife will not.
Many, many thanks. Just for reading this.
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About the fundraiser
I am Scott Christmas and I have been married to my Christmas-crazy wife for 5 years. However I have known her since 1998. I worked in London as an Artworker from 1997 up until my wife became ill. I like to laugh and make others do so. I cook, clean and look after my wife 24/7.
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