There's a lot of people who go to Boomtown Fair each year, there's a lot who want to go. And there's Neil who simply wanted to go to a festival he'd always wanted to visit.
At the end of May Neil's...I'll go one day...changed with an untreatable cancer diagnosis. Neil has lung, kidney and liver cancer and he's been given twelve months.
A couple of weeks ago we received a request to help Neil go to a festival before he dies. That's his wish. To be at a festival amongst the music he loves in a festival setting. Given To Live went to see Neil and go through the festivals that fit for him, fit with Vicki and Byron's schedules, friends of twenty years, who made the application and will be there with him to care and support. Timing, distance to travel were considerations as well as the music. Ticket availability as well at such short notice. In the end there was one stand out option, Boomtown. And one stand out hurdle at such short, tickets.
Given To Live can't thank Jos and Kate at Boomtown for helping make this happen as such short notice. Tickets to one of the UK's most popular festivals aren't readily available with less than two weeks to go, especially accessible tickets. You found them for Neil and we are so grateful.
When we called Vicki to put us on speaker with Neil on Tuesday Neil had gone into a hospice. He's there for respite and to be in a supported setting so his meds schedule can be worked out to best ease his pain so a call saying he's going to Boomtown made his stay easier. He's back home on Tuesday and we're heading to Boomtown on Friday. Neil has said he has something to look forward to, to take his mind off the pain. Speaking with Vicki she says Neil has come to terms with the situation well and is looking at Boomtown as a chance to enjoy himself one last time. The photo of Neil is an old one as there aren't many to hand in a hospice. These days he's got a handsome collection of dreads!
Neil can stay as long as he likes at Boomtown, however the reality is the meds and the pain will dictate this but talking with Vicki we simply wish that at least for a few hours the sun comes out and bathes Neil in warmth, the pain stays away and Neil can have a dance in the sun, to the music he loves with two of his oldest friends loving and supporting him.
For the last year the Foo Fam, a Facebook group with members from all four corners of the globe, has been supporting Given To Live.