(Rick and Elliot Parish)
This is a bit of a sad blog, but I want to share a story with you about a very special family, the Parish family.
A few months ago, after my darling Tayla had passed, I noticed a group on Facebook which she had joined called “The Mont Blanc Project”. After reading, I quickly joined. The Mont Blanc Project was started by a man named Rick Parish. In October, in 2009, the Parish families youngest son, Elliot, was diagnosed with the most common form of childhood brain tumour, the tumour the size of a cricket ball, which had spread to his spine. He was three years old.
Rick Parish asked the hospital “What do you need to save my son?”. Their answer was a $470,000 3D molecular imaging machine, that doesn’t exist anywhere in the Southern Hempishere. This machine helps doctors determine the most effective treatment for childhood Cancer. This technology had the potential to raise Elliots survival chances from 30% to 80%.
Rick Parish was a former SAS soldier, and at the time of Elliots diagnosis, he was climbing Mt Kilimanjoro to raise money for breast cancer. So, Rick put together a team of 20 climbers, some without any experience. Their aim was to raise enough money to purchase the 3D molecular imaging machine. They were to do this by climbing and reaching the summit of Mont Blanc in France.
Just hours after his diagnosis, Elliot underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain. Three days later, he again underwent surgery, this time in an effort to completely remove the tumour. Elliot then underwent six months of chemotherapy, and 30 sessions of radiotherapy, on ward 3B at Princess Margaret Hospital; Tayla’s ward.
While Elliot was fighting for his life, Rick began fighting to save the life of both his own son, and other patients on 3B. Not only did Rick and his team, the Mont Blanc Project, climb Mont Blanc…They also raised a staggering $950,000.
During this time, Elliot went into remission. But in November, the Parish family received the call confirming their worst fears. Elliots Cancer was back, throughout his brain and spine. Not only were they able to purchase the machine, but they also brought toys and gifts for all the patients on ward 3B. The machine was purchased, and officially named “Elliot’s machine”.
The machine was too late to save Elliot, but, in Rick Parish’s own words;
“Unfortunately it’s not going to help my son but it’ll help generations of kids in the future with analysing and treating and hopefully finding the cause of brain tumours in children.”
The Mont Blanc Project was not complete. They aimed for 2011 to raise $2 million dollars, to continue helping with ward 3B, and childhood cancer research, and to raise over $20,000,000 over the next five years.
Elliot loved KFC chips, pirates and dolphins, and his favorite colour pink. For Elliots make a wish, and his fourth birthday, he and his family and friends went on a ship, decorated as a pirate ship, for the day, and he was able to see dolphins.
This morning, aged four years old, in bed with his Mummy and Daddy, Elliot took his last breaths, and passed away.
I never met Elliot. But, I think you will agree, you do not need to meet Elliot, to be impossibly inspired. To want to make the most of every single moment.
Whatever your beliefs, whether you would like to send a prayer to Elliot and his family, or warm wishes and love, this is one very, very special little young man who deserves to have his life, and his presence on earth, recognised by as many people as possible.
Elliot’s battle has just ended, but the Parish families and Mont Blanc Projects is only beginning; To help cure childhood Cancer.
Life is not something I understand. It is equally awful and beautiful, all in the same breath. I do not know why Cancer exists in children and teenagers. On September the 16th, I lost my beautiful friend Tayla to Cancer. She was also a patient of ward 3B. I do not know why my chances of survival, against a different condition, are infinitely higher than Elliot’s, Tayla’s, and all the others. It does not make sense to me, why I get to live on this earth, and they do not.I wish with all my heart that I could take their place.
However, this is not to be.
I am asking you, to please, please, join the Mont Blanc Project, the link is at the bottom of this blog. I am asking you to send the link to every single contact on your Facebook. I am asking you to write a status, begging people to join. Maybe you are unable to donate, but the more people you send this to, the more people who know about this incredible organisation. The more people who know, the more people who can donate. The more people who donate, the higher the chance of discovering the cure for childhood Cancer. The closer we become to not losing anymore angels.
I know that Elliot is free now, in heaven with Tayla, Evie, Zari, and all the other 3B angels.
May he rest in peace, and be forever free in heaven.
The link to the Mont Blanc Project;