Tom's Early Christmas in Milan.

Stone Sour. Milan. December. Your first trip abroad.

That's what Given To Live gave Tom a little before Christmas. A trip to see his favourite band in a beautiful city. A chance to fly, to be himself...even dance a little.

Meeting at the airport in Bristol Tom was excited and ready to go. And there was time to present him with his poster that the amazing Emily Trott had created especially for him before we headed to the plane for his first flight, his first trip abroad. The crew, especially Rebecca, were fantastic to Tom and also had him visit with the captain in the cockpit.

Milan arrived and after something to eat and a walk we checked in and sleep beckoned. Rest is always needed before a big day and seeing your favourite band on a trip where you are being honoured for being who you are is a pretty big day. And the day would end up a lot bigger for Tom as we had a surprise up our sleeves for him that would come later.

First was time with mum Amanda to check out some of Milan. Then on their return Tom got his surprise, he'd be meeting Stone Sour! Tom is very quietly expressive and his reaction to the news was simply beautiful. He started to smile, as if from his toes first, then gently creeping up throughout his body until it seemed he was smiling from head to toe and there was nothing but joy.

We're on the way to Alcatraz which turns out to be a great venue but Milan traffic isn't moving as fast as we'd like. But it moves and we arrive and excitement builds for Tom. He's meeting Corey Taylor soon! Corey Taylor!!! The man whose lyrics and music mean so much to Tom, have helped him through, given him courage.

The meet and greet goes in a blur of photos and autographs and before you know it we're taking Tom to the merch stand to get a tee shirt. Decisions, decisions! Too much after something so huge but we manage to get Tom to say that one and it's not long until The Pretty Reckless who Tom lists amongst his favourite bands.

Corey had one more surprise in store for Tom, he'd be watching the show from side stage. Right there when the band walks onstage, right there each time Corey came to him during the show. Right there.

Seeing Tom smile, singalong, move to his favourite band after all he's been through and the challenges he faces daily was special.

And by his side all night was mum, Amanda. Watching him, loving him, joining in and smiling wide throughout at the sight of her Tom alive with joy.


Thank you...

Corey, again GTL can only say thank you, a thousand thank yous.

Michelle at Cosa Nostra PR, superstar ⭐️⭐️⭐️

All the crew, especially Rebecca, at Ryanair.

Emily Trott, your poster is beautiful and Tom loves it.

Everyone who donated to make this happen and the amazing AliEdie and Ella for all your fundraising work.

Niche Frames, printers of posters and great humans.