Hi there, my name is Hal and that’s me there on the left looking rather smart and that’s my late wife Sonay on the right, who passed away on the 24th January 2014. She is my main motivation behind this website. She was diagnosed with the worst form of bowel cancer, in November 2011. I gave up my day job as a plumber to train as a nurse in order to care for my wife. This involved mixing all her medication and giving them to her intravenously so she could be at home spending time with our three young children. Despite being told she only had a few weeks, against all odds she held on two more years with the help of chemotherapy and holistic medicine/therapy. This meant she was able to see her new-born daughter walk and talk, her two year old son become a four year old young boy and her five year old daughter become a seven year old young lady.
About a month or so before Sonay passed away, her quality of life deteriorated and she decided that she no longer wanted any more chemotherapy or any holistic medicine/therapy. This was so hard for me as I knew if we carried on she would still be alive now but I had to accept her wishes, which broke my heart. She said to me: ”I no longer want to be saved and cannot keep going like this, because it’s not fair on me and it’s not fair on you so please save your energy on me and help others, why don’t you set up a charity where you can raise awareness and help other young adults with bowel cancer that can be saved whether it be through a medical or holistic route. Over the years you’ve learnt so much, you’ve nursed me better than any other partner could have ever done, changing tubes in my stomach and giving me IV meds as well as meeting a lot of people, doctors, professors, researchers, healers, and spiritualists from all over the world. Please Hal, you need to stop and let me go, and go and save others because I know you can. There’s something special about you and you need to give it to others.” As I wiped the running tears from my eyes I answered with a simple “OK.”
Saying goodbye to my wife was one of hardest things I’ve ever had to do. We were together for 15 years, which is almost half my life, and losing a soul mate is one of the hardest things anybody has to do. At the same time she has given me the drive to use the best of my ability to help as many people as I can and to honour her personal request to me. This is why I have decided to set up a charity to help young adults (20’s 30’s & 40’s), to raise awareness and put together a team, not of medically qualified doctors and nurses, but of people who have been touched or lost loved ones to bowel cancer and have a good understanding of how you feel and share the emotions that you are going through. We aim to advise the individual on the help available out there and also provide support for partners and carers.
That’s my family and me in December 2012 a few hours after we were told that the cancer was advanced and no longer curable.
This is also the reason why The Sonay Foundation has been set up, this is a foundation that is for her and other young children that have lost their parents to cancer, to give them some help in life and help with early screenings. The foundation also organises days out.