Four families with strong links to the current Edinburgh Home from Home, CLIC Villa, have nominated their ‘cancer hero’ - someone who has supported them throughout their family's cancer journey - to be the name of the new Home from Home.
Read about their cancer heroes below and make sure to vote.
Nominated by Charlie aged 6
Charlie, 6, from Buckhaven, was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma when he was just two and a half years old.
When Charlie was diagnosed his family found it very difficult. Charlie’s mum Evonne said: “The whole experience of his treatment was very stressful. It’s very hard and when you hear that your child has cancer, you are just stuck. You just think, what can I do? What did he do? Why did this happen?”
Charlie has two older brothers and the family struggled with the amount of time they would spend apart, which is why CLIC Villa made such a difference for them.
"CLIC Sargent is just wonderful, especially CLIC Villa, which is where I would spend a lot of my time. It was a great place. It made a huge difference for us and it saved a huge amount of expense.
"At one point in it all we couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel, but he got better and we are so happy that he is in remission."
“We would like to name the house after our friend April. She has done a lot for us - giving us lifts in and lifts home, and always making us smile and laugh. Charlie adores her; he calls her Aunty April.”
Nominated by Reon aged 13
Reon, 13, from North Berwick, was diagnosed with leukaemia after his parents noticed he had a number of small bruises on his ankles.
Mum Aileen said: "We were just bowled over. We had no clue what to do or how to react. It felt overwhelming. It was like the world was shrinking in on me and I was falling backwards. I didn’t sleep at all that night."
Reon’s parents made regular use of CLIC Villa, CLIC Sargent's Home from Home in Edinburgh, so they could provide him with food to suit his strange appetite due to the treatment. The room also meant that the family could stay, which would give Reon a real mental boost.
Reon eventually needed a bone marrow transplant – and his older brother Ciaran turned out to be a perfect match.
Sadly, on the first anniversary of Reon’s transplant, they found out that he had relapsed. Reon had to have a second stem cell transplant, which saw Ciaran having 5 days of injections before the procedure to extract the cells.
“We would like to name the house Ciaran’s House for everything that he has done for Reon. Ciaran is just 16-years-old and he has sacrificed a lot. They have both been through this together for the last two years and will always have that special bond.”
Nominated by Ailsa aged 25
Ailsa, 25, from Perth, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of 17, just six weeks before her 18th birthday.
"I knew something was terribly wrong when I was taken to the treatment room where my parents were already sitting and had obviously been crying. When they told me I remember crying and I didn't take anything else in. I didn't want to accept that I had cancer and I didn't want to know anything about it."
Soon after starting treatment Ailsa was put in touch with a CLIC Sargent Social Worker and her family stayed at CLIC Villa. She was helped with getting a disabled parking pass, as she was often unable to manage the short walk across the car park. Her mum could be near her thanks to the home, but also take some time for herself.
Ailsa said: "My mum and dad still talk about feeling the weight lifted from their shoulders at a time of total confusion and stress. I honestly don't know what we would have done without the house and their support. The staff have become lifelong friends and we visit whenever we can.”
Nominated by Cameron, 8
Cameron, 8, from Hawick, was diagnosed with cancer in May 2015, after having been ill for a month.
Cameron has autism, which made the medical procedures and environment very hard to process. The family lived 55 miles from Edinburgh, so they were a long way from home.
Mum Nicola said: "We weren't sure what we were going to be able to do as we were so far from home. Then Mandy and the CLIC Sargent team got in touch and told us about CLIC Villa. I had no idea what a difference it would make for us."
"It really became an actual Home from Home for us, as we ended up being there for nine months. It was a huge part of our experience and so important to us."
Cameron remains on maintenance treatment at the moment and things are still quite up and down. He hopes to be out of treatment by September 2018.
“We would like to nominate the name Leona's House after Leona Richardson, a cousin who was kind enough to make us fresh meals for when Cameron’s treatment was at its most intense. Leona was a great support to me when I needed time away from the hospital.”