We first met Tina (whom I called Serena in previous posts on this blog) when she came to our church in Birmingham in 2009. She had been trafficked to this country from Burkina Faso, had a daughter, Anna, of two years and had been abandoned by the father. When we met Anna she was an elective mute – she would not speak. Gradually, with the love and security of the church, things improved for them. Today Anna is a healthy and confident nine-year-old doing well at school.

We left that church to retire to Devon in 2012, but have kept in touch. Two weeks ago mutual friends rang us to say that Tina has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the liver.

She now faces the very sad task of providing for her daughter, which will include making a will and arranging guardianship, which is likely to cost lawyer’s fees. We can’t really bear to think about it, but there will also at some point be the cost of a funeral, unless there is a miracle. Although Tina is extremely careful with the little money she has, there is no way she will be able to meet these costs.

Would you sponsor me to raise money for Tina and Anna? I am writing a memoir, and I’m committing myself to completing 25-30,000 words by the end of this month, September 2016. IĀ  update regularly on the Justgiving site to let you know how many words I’ve added. You could either sponsor me for the whole project, or per each thousand words. Whichever way you do it, I can assure you that Tina and Anna will benefit from your kindness.



8 thoughts on “TERMINALLY ILL

  1. Hi Gilly,

    I’ll contribute, however, could you tell me where Tina and her daughter are? (I have a memory of there being issues with deportation). There is so much global sadness and courage that this story epitomises.

    How is the thumb feeling and do you have much follow up?


    1. Thank you so much, that’s terrific. They live in Birmingham – we managed to get them right to remain in the country as we were leaving our parish there in order to retire. Anna is attending her local school and doing very well. Tina has just spent 3 days in hospital, having treatment for her liver: this will help her have a better quality of life for longer, but it’s not good news that the cancer has now spread to her lungs. A member of our previous church has been living in the flat and looking after Anna while Tina has been in hospital, and will take Anna home with her for a few days while Tina recovers at home. There was a big round-table meeting on Tuesday of all the organisations involved, with a lot of useful decisions made. Our eldest daughter and her husband, who live in Birmingham, have offered foster-care to Anna once Tina becomes too ill to take care of her. Hub and I are currently working on the application to the Home Office for Anna’s citizenship, to which she is automatically entitled when she turns 10 this January as she was born in this country.
      Thumbelina is doing well thank you! So far I’ve had no pain, which is strange but welcome. I have to keep her elevated for 72 hours, then back to the hospital on Monday for a wound check. Stitches out in a fortnight and follow-up in a month. So far so good.
      I appreciate your interest and concern.


  2. Where is the link to your just giving page? I’d like to make a contribution. It is always distressing when someone who has been so wronged in life, who tries their darnedest to make a better life gets dealt such a wicked hand by fate šŸ˜¦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. just had the top joint of my right thumb amputated … and began to think of joky things to do. how about some thumb puppets?? a noddy hat with a bell? or a black cassock and white clerical collar??? any ideas?


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