Tracy started her own charity, Ending Life’s Taboo

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TRACY Davies suffered every parent’s worst nightmare in 2017.

His son Ross Saxton-Davies had just received unexpected, terrifying and devastating news.

He found out he had skin cancer in the form of malignant melanoma and had spread to four of his internal organs.

Tragically, Ross died within eight weeks of his diagnosis, aged just 27.

Out of sadness and grief was born a mother’s passion for not letting other young people die of fear.

Tracy is committed to building something positive and started her own charity, Ending Life’s Taboo, in conjunction with Colchester Hospital.

After Ross died, she thought about his final weeks in the hospital and the need for him to have been able to talk to someone about his inner thoughts.

Although the family was close, it was difficult for her to discuss what was going on.

Tracy was passionate about challenging society’s perspective on death and agony, with the goal of improving the quality of end-of-life care for young adults.

She was convinced that being able to speak to a professionally trained person would have improved her mental health and reduced her emotional pain.

“Young people who are nearing the end of their lives go through a grieving process similar to those who remain,” said the 57-year-old, who lives in Coggeshall.

Special Memories – Ross Saxton-Davies (second from left) with sister Toni Jolin, brother Dean Saxton and nephew Jacob Jolin

“They cry for the life they thought they had and for the people they are going to leave.

“I want to give young people between the ages of 18 and 40 who are facing a terminal illness the possibility of accessing psychological support and that is why we have decided to launch Ending Life’s Taboo.

“We are often hesitant to talk about something so painful, but, in all fairness, it’s something that every human being has in common. We will, at some point, all die.

“When we’re young, we don’t think it’s something that seems like a reality, but when we hear of a terminal illness, everything collapses – hopes, dreams, aspirations.

“Time is no longer an option.

“Ending Life’s Taboo aims to provide quick access to advice and support to young people facing the most vulnerable period of their lives.

“The young person’s families will also be supported and we will be able to offer a service that makes the passage as peaceful as possible.

“Quite often, even when their illness is advanced, young people undergo intrusive surgical and medical procedures in the hope that it will extend the time they have left.

“But it is important that at this time, the young person also has access to mental health interventions.

“I want Ross’ legacy to ensure that the support is there for these kids when they need it.”

Tracy, who has worked in the finance industry for 39 years, the last five of which were finance manager at North Primary School and Nursery in Colchester, approached Dr Hattie Roebuck, a palliative care consultant at the hospital. from Colchester.

Together, they developed his idea of ​​charity, to find out if there was a lack of support.

In the end, the service was so needed that Dr Hattie agreed to join the board and played a vital role in supporting the charity’s work within Colchester Hospital.

Ending Life’s Taboo has also been supported by St Helena Hospice, Macmillan and Colchester Hospital and is based at the Hospital’s Cancer Wellbeing Center.

It was granted charity status in May 2021.

Dr Hattie said: “All healthcare professionals who work with young people know how difficult it is for them and their families to cope with a terminal illness.

“My colleagues are delighted to have a new counseling service specifically to help support these young people. ”

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Ross’s family have raised thousands of pounds for Melanoma UK and St Helena Hospice.

However, now is the time to raise money for their own charity.

Gillian Nuttall, Managing Director of Melanoma UK, donated £ 2,000 to Melanoma UK.

Meanwhile, a Colchester Catalyst grant of £ 10,000 was secured earlier this year and the association’s work began at Colchester Hospital in early June.

Family and friends take part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride on September 19 and the Colchester Stampede on October 10.

Tracy said, “It’s hard to start a charity and get grants when the service is completely new because the level of need and the results are hard to prove.

“I am truly grateful to Rod Appleyard of Colchester Catalyst and the Board of Directors for providing the grant to Ending Life’s Taboo.

“It really helps us deliver the service in our first year.

“Ending the taboo on life is not the usual counseling approach of a set number of weeks and periods of support.

“Young people still need to live right now and it is only fitting that there is support for them when they need to talk.

“They shouldn’t have to wait for help and it should be in line with their lifestyle and treatment. ”

The young adults are supported by the charity counselor, Lynda Smith, an experienced counselor who has worked for many years at St Helena Hospice.

To learn more about the charity, directors and fundraising events, visit www.endinglifestaboo.com

The association is also active on Facebook and Instagram.


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