Within five minutes of speaking with Gary, Given To Live knew we wanted to take him and his wife, Jill, to a show. We were speaking about their son Harry and how we were going to take him to see Ed Sheeran.
As the conversation opened and Gary spoke about Harry and his needs, his needs since he was born, without realising it Gary also told us about what it is like to be a parent in such a situation with breaks rare when Harry is able to go to respite.
So a seed was sown to offer a show to Gary and Jill. Then we found out Gary has leukaemia and decided something special was needed. We told Gary and Jill weeks ago that we would take them to a show and for them to simply let us know who they wanted to see. Their musical tastes don't meet very often so each reminder we wanted to do something for them was met with the same answer...we're still trying to find something we both want to see.
Then we get a message from Harry asking how to put a trip together because the family want to treat mum and dad for all their hard work, patience, love and dedication. His older sister Hayley is soon on the phone and I remind her GTL has offered to take Gary and Jill to a show and who do they want to see?
The Rolling Stones.
Well, they're not playing the UK. Ok. Let's look at tour dates and figure something out.
Barcelona! Gary loves art and has always wanted to see Barcelona, as has Jill but being full time carers means opportunities are very thin on the ground.
So let's make this happen. Hayley dissolves into tears. Auntie Diane does as well at the news we'd secured tickets to the show. Tears became a theme as did mischievousness as we worked together to make it happen without Jill and Gary finding out. No easy task as Harry and Haley live at home as does Hayley's three year old so popping out for a chat to figure things out wasn't easy for them. But a lot of texting between themselves in front of mum and dad took place, trips to visit auntie Diane for Hayley became the excuse to chat with GTL.
And when we turned up yesterday saying we're in the area and we'd love to see how Harry's getting on mum and dad were none the wiser. So much so they thought Hayley, Diane and cousin Rachel were a bit annoying when they came into say hi. Why are so many people here???
Asked if they'd be willing to say something to camera that we could use for the crowdfunder they really were at a loss when I explained GTL is ready to take someone to see the Stones in Barcelona. It took a while then the penny dropped. It's for them! The Stones! Barcelona!
More tears. Tears of joy from everyone who knows how much Gary and Jill give and now they were able to receive something special for them. A dream come true. The Stones, Barcelona and time to be together.
Thank you so much to Hayley. Not only was she super mischievous with her brother Harry, she took care of the things she knew would be worries...respite was taken care of and she called Jill's boss and arranged time off. Both without Jill even getting a sniff of what's going on.
Thank you Hayley. And Harry, you do sneaky very well :)
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.