Their time at the retreat

 

 

The wonderful Families that have visited the Retreat in 2017

 Amelia celebrates her 6th birthday at the Retreat in Crete.

Amelia had never flown before and was so excited , she loves being in water where she feels most comfortable and relaxed . On our journey to Sara`s Retreat we called in at the Cotton Club for some food and a children`s cocktail , a fab way of kicking off Amelia`s week at Sara`s Retreat. Amelia awoke next day to the sun shining and was straight in the swimming pool . It was priceless hearing her laughing and watching her smiling , splashing around and having fun . A day at the beach followed with sand castle building and swimming in the crystal water of Almyrida ...she had a ball 
As an early birthday treat we organised a free trip to Limnoupolis water park , despite the unusual weather ( it rained most of the time ) she loved it , especially shooting down all the slides ,she was so confident and really is a water baby . She visited the Rainbow cafe in Georgioupolis and enjoyed a game of crazy golf with Ged and bouncing on the bouncy castles and driving a children`s go kart . The highlight of Amelia`s week was her surprise birthday party . We invited some close friends around and arranged a bbq and karaoke . She laughed and smiled all night and blew out the candles on her birthday cake with a big cheer from everyone and a rousing `Happy Birthday to you `
Amelia really did not want to go home but she left with many special memories and with new friends for life .  

Grace Frazer . An amazing adventure at Saras Hope foundation Retreat in Crete

Grace Frazer aged 3 was diagnosed with a brain tumour, she underwent brain surgery twice at such a young age and endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy missing out on a normal childhood. Grace is a real water baby and her favourite days were spent at the beach, she has so much energy and it was wonderful watching her run around without a care in the world. Mum Fiona`s message in the guest book said it all

`Thank you for an amazing week. We couldn`t have had a better week without your help. You are such amazing people for providing a beautiful place for families to come to`

Harrison Mooney aged 9 had a great week at the Retreat in July 2017

Harrison Mooney aged 9 arrived with his family after completing a three year protocol for ALL .Harrison also has autism, ADHD and a learning disability. It was fabulous watching Harrison (Harry) having fun, smiling and really enjoying his week with his family. The highlight was an afternoon at Kournas Lake on a pedalo. Harry loved swimming in the Lake and his face beamed throughout.

Here are some extracts from Fiona`s message in the guest book

We have had a busy week and been to some fantastic places. Harrison`s favourite was definitely Lake Kornas. We have met some of your friends and love how much they support you and the charity. You are an amazing family who have accepted Harrison and his world without batting an eyelid and made us feel so comfortable. Autism and ADHD is difficult to deal with but you made it easy so easy. 

Ruby aged 9 years spent most of her time in the pool when she visited the Retreat in July 2017

Ruby was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in July 2013 and recently completed her 3 year treatment protocol. She has a sister Lucie and a brother Joseph who has autism. The family were due to fly out in 2015 when their father Chris suffered a brain hemorrhage which left him with severe mobility problems, slowly but surely through his determination and lots of physical work Chris can walk with assistance but requires 24hr care. Mum Samantha is amazing and is a full time carer for Chris as well as looking after her daughters and son. Samantha commented that they are looking forward to spending time together after everything they have been through.

The following is what they had to say about their time at the Retreat sent to us via Facebook.
We arrived at sara retreat on the 21st of July from stepping off plane and meeting ged and Julie who are both inspirational people we have done nothing but laugh they took us everywhere we wanted to go nothing is ever a problem we meet some amazing people friends of there's Chris had a subarachnoid haemorrhage July 2015 and we didn't get that year but he was so relaxed loving in every minute (now wants to live there)everybody made him feel at ease was perfect ...then Joseph has autism and had a great bond with ged and Julie practically went everywhere with ged we had a bbq karaoke night and Joseph was amazing from a boy who would never of got up to sing took over the karaoke his confidence was amazing ...these guys are really special and amazing what they do for children, Ruby and Lucie had a blast never out the pool making new friends,we really had the perfect relaxing time thankyou Ged and Julie we love you xxxx

Bethan Curran visited the Retreat from 29 July to 5 August

Bethan Curran from Oldham was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in December 2014 aged 15. She underwent 6 cycles of chemotherapy and surgery to remove her tumour as well as limb salvage surgery with a titanium knee and high bone replacement.Bethan took her exams in hospital and missed out on her last year at high school. Tragically Bethan also had to deal with the sudden death of her father four years ago. Bethan arrived with her mum Helen, sister Sophia aged 14 and step dad Phil. Bethan had a fab time on the island, visiting the ancient archeological site in Aptera, Kournas Lake, various taverna`s and restaurants and local beaches.It was great to see her relaxing and having fun with her family.
A short extract from Bethan`s message in the guest book.
Thank you for an amazing week I`ve had here.I cannot thank you enough for making me feel so loved and welcome. You have made me so happy and spending the week with you and my family has been so worthwhile,  I have been truly blessed to have been involved in so much fun and laughter and I will treasure these memories forever.  I will be back to visit ! Greece is officially my favourite country !

Harrison Sander`s week at Sara`s Retreat August 2017

Harrison spent a week with mum Janine and dad Tim at Sara`s Retreat

Harrison aged 17 from North Wales was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in September 2014. Harrison underwent high dosage chemotherapy and 9 months of mifamurtide (a drug which reduces the chance of the cancer coming back) He had to make the life changing decision at the age of 16 to have above the knee amputation of his left leg and learn how to walk again with a prosthetic limb. Harrison packed so much into his week at Sara`s Retreat after spending so much time in hospital. He had a great time at Cretan Corner watching the Greek dancing, he visited the German caves in Kokkino Chorio, enjoyed days in Chania and Rethymnon and had two nights watching live bands in local taverna`s. Highlights were his nights at the Retreat Taverna in Kokkino Chorio – he said it was the best food he had tasted in a long time and the views were outstanding and the BBQ at home was another favourite. A few short extracts from the guest book from Harrison

Thank you for the best time ever. It even proved that I could swim with one leg. I had never tried it before this holiday. Even though I am very shy and quiet I really loved being here with you all and my parents. I have had a nice stress free week and great company.

Evelyn Hughes, aged 3 visited the Retreat in August 2017

Evelyn from Darlington was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma aged just 2. She underwent high intense chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and more at such an early age. The family have had such a difficult time over the last 14 months and just want to spend time relaxing as a family, giving Evelyn memories outside of hospital. 

A message from Lindsey, Evelyn's Mum.

"Our whole week has been relaxing, exciting, musical, fun and emotional. We have loved watching our children play and laugh and we could not of had all this without your help, love and support"

William Harland visited the Retreat in September 2017

William Harland aged 13 from Saltburn by the Sea was diagosed in 2013 (aged 10) with Osteosarcoma in his left leg. Will underwent chemo for 9 months and bone salvage surgery and a prosthetic implant was fitted. Will then developed a tumour and had to have this removed through open chest surgery and then again in 2016 where he had to have surgery to remove a tumour in his lung. Will's mum said he struggles with the emotional scars the cancer has left him with and not being the same as his peers, not being to be able to play football and rugby anymore is challenging for Will. The family spent a lot of time apart and would like to spend time together making happy memories, they have never had a holiday abroad as a family and are looking forward relaxing and being together.

Charlie Horton visited the Retreat in September 2017

Charlie Horton aged 13 from Chester was diagnosed in March this year with a brain stem pilocytic astrocytoma, a type of brain tumour that occurs more often in children and young adults. The family have never been on holiday together and even when Charlie went to Florida for treatment his sister Ashleigh stayed behind to care for her other brother. It has been a hard year for the family and they would love some time to settle and reconnect as a family. 

 

Erin Mooney visited the Retreat in October 2017

The  following is an email from Erin and her family, It says it all.

Vincent said, “Sarah’s Hope Foundation is such an amazing charity as, when a family is trying to deal with all the challenges that illness brings, most of the focus is, rightly, on the patient, in our case, Erin.  It is so easy, however, to forget the impact on the whole family.  This break allowed us to spend some much-needed time together as a family.  We had an amazing time and we have some wonderful memories that we will cherish forever.”

Linda said, “It was an amazing holiday. We had such fun times where we laughed until we cried and our stomach ached. One particular favourite time was when we had a power cut and we had a very emotional chat where we opened up about our feelings. The villa was perfect and so were the beaches. Everyone we met was so kind and we felt so privileged to be treated with such generosity. Sara’s Hope Foundation is an amazing organisation which has given us unforgettable family memories.”

Kaitlyn said, “We have struggled to get time away as a family and I often worried when we would have time to plan and save for another family holiday. It seemed like the last thing on our minds.  Since our last holiday was 5 years ago, this week has reinforced the importance of spending time away as a family! I am so glad we had the opportunity to seize this holiday and create new memories! Thank you so much!”

Graeme said, “One of the best times I’ve had with my family, I will cherish that!”

Erin said, “One of the most memorable weeks we’ve had as a family thanks to Sara’s Hope Foundation. The holiday was amazing from start to finish, filled with laughter and happiness. We couldn’t have asked for nicer people to have looked after us for the week, definitely a holiday to remember! Thank you!”

Nicole said, “Thanks so much for such an amazing holiday! It was so good to spend quality time with everyone and be completely stress-free! Also thanks to Justin, Karen, Ben, Maria, John and Alison it was lovely to be in such nice company!” 

We really did have the time of our lives and we have agreed, at Erin’s treatment end, that we will fundraise for Sarah’s Hope Foundation because what they do is so special and we want to help other family’s in our situation in future, as well.

We hope to, one day, come back to Crete on holiday and we will definitely look you all up and finally meet Ged and Julie.

Many thanks again.

Love and best wishes

Vincent, Linda, Kaitlyn, Graeme, Erin and Nicole.

Everyone at Saras Hope Foundation are looking forward to seeing you back on Crete very soon