C.j. O'Malley

Marie Curie Boba Tea in Memory of My Grandad

Fundraising for Marie Curie
raised of £1,000 target
by 12 supporters
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In memory of Charles O'Malley
Marie Curie

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RCN 207994 (England & Wales) and SC038731 (Scotland)
We offer expert care, guidance and support to people living with a terminal illness


I am fundraising in memory of my Grandad; Charles O’Malley who sadly passed away January 2018 to Cancer.

This is all about that dreaded “C” word. I don’t know anyone whose life hasn’t been impacted by Cancer these days. Statistics show that 1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with Cancer in their lifetime and only 38% of those cases are preventable. The saddest part of this is that only 50% of people diagnosed with Cancer, survive over 10 years. Leading to 166,135 deaths due to Cancer in the UK in 2016 alone.

Everyone has their story; and today for the first time, I am going to share mine.

I guess I should start with a little about myself. My name is Charley -Jane O’Malley (Charley after my Grandad and Jane after my Nan) but everyone calls me C.J. I am 21 years old and live just outside Edinburgh, Scotland. I am currently managing a boba tea store in the capital called Tempo Tea Bar: I absolutely love my wee job. At our latest staff meeting, 3 of us were given the task to create a boba tea in aid of a charity of our choice. This meant that the profits from the drink would go to the charity. Being type 1 diabetic, I usually fundraise for Diabetes UK but after the year I have been through I knew it was only right to give back to the charity that has helped me the most; Marie Curie.

For those of you who know me; my Grandad was my whole life. As soon as I was born I was a Grandad’s girl, no ifs or buts. He was more than just a Grandad to me; he was my father figure, my best friend, my confidant. He was my everything. The most important person in my life. It wasn’t like some people’s situation where they see their grandparents once a month. I lived with them most of my life and even when they moved out, I saw them EVERY DAY. He was much more than just a ‘Grandfather’.

So here’s the story that changed my life forever. My Grandad had not been very well during the year of 2013, he started getting very tired and was put off his food (which wasn’t like him at all; I used to call him a bucket as he would eat everyone else’s leftovers). My Nan had been pestering him to go to the doctor but my Grandad would reply “What are they gonna say? I’m just getting old!”. He had collapsed at one point in that year and was taken to hospital by ambulance but after tests were done he was sent home the very next day.

He then collapsed again in January 2014 and was taken to hospital by ambulance again. The doctor was allowing him to be sent home again, but he collapsed in hospital that day and the doctor had no choice but to keep him in. He was taken to a ward to have more tests done straight away. It was then when the dreaded ‘C’ word was announced. My Grandad had Cancer.

On February 4th 2014 my Grandad was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma, with three tumours in his stomach, bowel and liver. He was given 2 months to live. It was at this point that we had to prepare for the worst and Grandad had to accept the fact that he was going to die. They started to give him chemotherapy to try and prolong his life and to their amazement, the chemo eventually shrunk all the tumours and my Grandad went into remission. He was a medical miracle! He remained in remission until 29th of January 2017.

My Grandad had been at a check up appointment with his consultant on 29th January 2017 when he heard the dreaded words AGAIN. The cancer was back. The chemo that he had previously had (which had saved his life the first time), had killed his bone marrow and now, the cancer was TERMINAL.

He had to attend the western general hospital to receive platelets
and/or blood transfusions to keep his organs working on a weekly basis and was advised that this would work for as long as it could and when it stopped giving him that boost of energy they would know that his life was slowly coming to an end. He was eventually told after some tests in the middle of August 2017 that he now had acute kidney failure and that he had a maximum of 6 months to live. WHAT NEXT EH?

He continued to go to the hospital weekly, but at the beginning of January 2018 on the morning of one of his appointments, he was very unwell and it was confirmed at hospital that he had had a mini stroke. The doctors decided to keep him in to do more tests etc. It was at this point that my Grandad went downhill drastically and we knew that he was never coming home again…

Around the second week in January 2018, my Grandad was moved to a side room in the ward as they thought he had the flu. It was at this time that we were told that he was given days to live as his body was beginning to shut down. We were told that he had already signed a do not resuscitate form. The doctor then came and told us that my Grandad now also had leukemia and sepsis.

He was in so much pain at this point and asked the doctors to stop giving him any drugs so that he could die and shouted at the doctors "just kill me now". It was so traumatic and heartbreaking to see him like that. He was always so strong and holding it together. He was in so much pain and although we selfishly didn’t want him to die, we wanted him to be out of the pain that he was in because it was so horrible to see him so defeated.

On 16th of January, we eventually had a doctor from the palliative care team come and see us and it was at this point that thankfully my Grandad was put into a medically induced coma. This was a blessing in disguise and we wished it had been done sooner as he was no longer in pain.

On the morning of 18th January when the doctor came round to speak to us we were told that my Grandad’s breathing was now getting slower and that they would estimate that he would die now within hours rather than days. Even though he was in a medically induced coma, he could still hear what we were saying. To everyone’s amazement, when I spoke to him telling him that I loved him; he reached out to me, raising his body from the bed and mumbled some noises, something we hadn’t witnessed that whole day. I guess it just confirmed that I really was his special girl as you could see how much he was struggling to give me one last hug and reassure me that everything was going to be okay.

I sat with him and held his hand for the rest of the day. Sadly, at 1.20pm on January 18th 2018 my Grandad took his last breath with all of his family at his bedside and me still holding his hand. It was the worst moment I have ever experienced, my heart broke and my life had then changed forever.

­­“Cause a picture is all that I have, to remind me that you're never coming back. If I picture it now it just makes me sadand right now I just wish you were here. Don't say everything's meant to be, cause you know it's not what I believe. Can't help but think that it should've been mein the end I just wish you were here.”- Neck Deep

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About the charity

Marie Curie

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 207994 (England & Wales) and SC038731 (Scotland)
Marie Curie is here for anyone with an illness they’re likely to die from, and those close to them. Whatever the illness, wherever you are, we’re with you to the end. We bring 75 years of experience and leading research to the care we give you at home, in our hospices and over the phone.

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