Another TKOE teevee star

21 Mar

We went to Cal’s review yesterday. It was very very good :). He’s:

😄 got an NVQ now

😃 got a work experience placement in the co op in Minehead for all of next term

😀 passed his interview to get the work experience although it does sound as though he introduced them to a new form of walking interview which seemed to involve an extraordinary amount of discussion about Easter eggs

😊 told us that he wants to live in a flat in Ledbury with friends, work in Sainsburys and have help with money and shopping so he can do things like go to the cinema

😱 introduced us to his camera crew.

Yes, Cal is following what seems to be a TKOE tradition, of participating in teevee documentaries. The programme will be on later in the year and is about several students in Foxes. So we’ll let you know when it’s on.



Jo xx

3 1/2 years

12 Mar

It’s been a gloomy day today. Both weather and mood. Today is the three and a half year anniversary of Rosie’s death. Earlier in the week someone asked about Cal and checked out that he had a sister. He has two.

I was a bit fierce with the person who asked and then they felt bad. Hey ho. Short blog today.

Jo xx

Let’s partaayyyy.

7 Mar

Today is Cal’s big party day. He was 21 on Tuesday – we are not entirely sure what he had for his birthday as he read out his cards to us over the phone but was vague about presents. So, thank you to everyone who got him one. Whatever it was.

this evening he’s boogying on down at the Minehead Social Club with all his friends – and a TV crew. Yes, he’s part of a documentary being filmed at Foxes. He’s kept this pretty quiet and is clearly unfazed by it.

We aren’t there – he’d rather spend time with his friends, as any self respecting 21 year old would, so if it ends up in the final cut, we’ll all get to see it.

He also seems to be Capt Hook in the next production. He’s been practising his evil laugh. It’s pretty scary.

We’ve been deep in geography revision these past couple of weeks. I think we should get a virtual GCSE certificate, Chris and I. I didn’t do geography, so I have genuinely learned new things about Mexico, Malawi and Cornwall. I’ve asked so many questions, I even muddled myself at work and tried to tell a group of people about an interesting local fact, until I remembered it actually related to Brazil. And this was just a mock…..

A HUGE thank you is due too, to Michelle and Steve for their £14 in coppers. TKOE is very lucky to have you as supporters.

We’ve got a surprise coming up very soon – can’t wait to tell you :). I’m sure you’ll like it :) :D

Jo xx

International Childhood Cancer Day @WesternDaily@CLIC_Sargent

15 Feb

Hey! 15th Feb is International Childhood Cancer Day. Who knew?

Out of nowhere in my Twitter feed I find out that one of our local papers, the Western Daily Press, is raising money for CLIC Sargent. All you have to do is buy a copy tomorrow.

Now, CLIC Sargent is a cause close to TKOEs heart, because if it wasn’t for them TKOE would never have started. You see, when Rosie was at her grumpiest, two days after her first liver resection, the CLIC Sargent person at the hospital refused to be put off by a monosyllabic teenager who wanted nothing to do with her.

She got Rosie a grant which bought the first TKOE laptop.

She also got Rosie and Toby the trip to the Harry Potter film set where they met Daniel Radcliffe.

And both those actions helped make life worth living for Rosie and us, despite cancer.

So, if you see a copy, buy one tomorrow. We will.

Jo xx

#WorldCancerDay 2

5 Feb

Cancer – the worst of times, the best of times. Predator, insinuator, genetic coding gone wrong. Thank you Mr Tony Walsh, @Longfellapoet for bringing smiles to our faces yesterday, and for triggering another fundraising opportunity by a very patient group of people.

More anon, but meanwhile, with thanks to Tony, Chief Designer Mike, everyone who contributed ideas, and Rosie for being the inspiration, here’s the link to A Poem for Rosie.



And yes, TKOE elves, I know this isn’t the most elegant way to do this and the link might not work, but I still have computer problems and this is the best I can do. See!

Jo xx

Oh! It’s #WorldCancerDay

4 Feb

Did you know that? That it was World Cancer Day? 7 years ago, Sunday, Rosie was diagnosed with cancer. So today we were running around getting ready for her first big operation, whilst in deep shock. We didn’t know then it was World Cancer Day, either.

There were some

Sorry, I got distracted then by the footage of the plane crash in Thailand. Terrifying.

Where was I? Oh yes. There were some brilliant people on the radio this morning talking about how, once you realise that you might have more than a few weeks to live, (as long as you do, of course), a cancer diagnosis is hideous and a life changer. But that that life changing part isn’t always negative. So true.

Still wish science would hurry up and find some cures though.


Jo xx

So busy

2 Feb

Just dropped in here quickly to say there’s a ton of stuff to tell you and I will do but I’m really busy at work and I have to go on our other computer to do it as my technical skills don’t work on my little iPad to do it, and our computer isn’t working properly so I need more time than I’ve got for the next few days to do it so you’ll have to wait until the weekend probably for me to do it properly, but meanwhile thank you Mr eBay for a further £8 to our 3k target.

That is all.

More anon.

Jo xx

Fundraising and parties

25 Jan

We love all the ways you all raise money for TKOE :).

Our £3k fundraising challenge for 2015 is gaining pace, and the latest is by Kath, Rosie’s aunt. When we saw her at Christmas she was needling away with a thing. We weren’t entirely sure what sort of thing, and she was very coy about it. Anyway, she was designing something for these cold days. And she’s now raising money by releasing her pattern on Ravelry and asking for donations. For TKOE.

All you knitters out there- the web address is

And it looks like this:


Its its only just been posted and TKOE has £10 so far :) :). Yay!!

Meanwhile, in Minehead, Cals party preparations are going well. He now has 70 people going. Last night he told us he was going along to Foxes Hotel. When we asked him why, his enigmatic response was ‘wait and see’. Turns out, they’d had a party for the students. What a life!

Jo xx

Good start, good start

14 Jan

Hey! How’s your new year going? Ours is going pretty well. Cal’s back at Foxes and his project this term is to arrange, all by himself, his 21st birthday party. We pay. Of course. But he organises. He’s already decided venue, music, food – he’d forgotten about guests, but I guess that’s an autistic lad for you :)

TKOE’s started well too – we’ve had an invite to a charity talk, in June. And already we’ve knocked £182 off our £3k target. Thank you so much to mum and dad, Kath, Mike, Joe and Maddie, Richard, Alex and Michelle.


Jo xx


Ciao and 23rd birthdays

3 Jan

So,I’m sitting here in a spot overlooking The Vatican in Rome (obvs), pondering our Rosie’s 23rd birthday.  Our short adventure to here is part of our now grand family tradition of taking ourselves away somewhere to celebrate Rosies birthday. We’ve rented a lovely apartment for a couple of days and in a minute we’re going to stroll to the Coliseum. And we won’t have our photo taken with the gladiators. Because the really lovely people who own the apartment have told us not to.

In the weeks before Rosie died, she did a lot of thank yous. (She did a lot of warning me about things that I’d find under her bed too, which included some cigarettes). One of her thank yous was that we’d taken her to a lot of places. Whilst we are lucky we can afford to do that, it just seemed right to continue the travelling theme. So this year it is Rome.

Cal and Sylv are just getting ready and we’ll spend the day doing touristy things and then having a birthday meal tonight. We’ll have to get chicken in there somewhere, which was her most favourite. Who knows how she’d have spent her actual 23rd, but chicken would have appeared in it.

I woke up at 2.30 this morning (don’t worry, I have been asleep again). She was born at 2.45am so it seemed right to be awake at that time. Just remembering that perfect new baby, with the dimples and the nails so shapely they looked manicured.

The other grand tradition on Rosie’s birthday is to make TKOE donations. TKOE has raised £2,000 this year – THANK YOUUUUUU – so we are going to pay £1k each to Hope Support Services and The Teenage Cancer Trust.

We’re just so humbled by the fundraising which people do on behalf of TKOE, which helps families and friends of people with cancer and other life limiting illnesses. And keeps Rosie’s legacy alive. So thank you to all of you for what you’ve done.

Which brings us to this year. So far, you all have raised £47,000 ( you also raise in convenient round figures, which is helpful). What say you we all aim for a further £3,000 this year, to get TKOE up to £50,000 for Rosie’s 24th? Does that sound like a plan for 2015? We’ll get a totaliser sorted and we want to here all your stories about how you’ve raised it too :). We like stories, a lot.

And we’re going to run the bloodometer again cos blood stocks are a bit low and we know someone who’s just needed a transfusion. So let us know when you give blood, and well done to people – you know who you are- who have faced needle phobias and all sorts to donate.

So, here’s to Rosie’s 23rd birthday, to some TKOE fundraising to get us to £50k, some blood doating and to a lovely weekend.

Oh, and here’s a view of our neighbour’s house.


And one of Rosie for good measure.


Jo xx


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