Fix you

This blog is written for three very special young people, and their beautiful, beautiful families.

Childhood Cancer is not something which you may consider to be related to Christmas.

But for thousands of families and friends across Australia, it is a devastating reality this Christmas.

This is for the families of children fighting their battles.

For the families whose children and teenagers are now in heaven.

And most of all, for the children and teenagers themselves, whether they have footprints or wings.

In this blog, I feature three separate stories of childhood and Adolescent Cancer.

The first is for Claire and Richard, with their beautiful Archie.

The second is for my beautiful best friend, Goggles, free in heaven for two years now.

And the third is for Rick Parish, his wife Emily, and their darling son Elliot, also free in heaven.

Today would have been Elliot’s sixth birthday. Elliot passed away after an incredible battle with Cancer when he was four years old.

Rick and his wife Emily, along with an incredible team known as the Telethon Adventurers are leading the way forward to finding a cure for Childhood Cancer. Since Elliot passed away, they have raised millions of dollars towards Childhood Cancer treatments and a cure.

This Christmas, instead of buying someone a gift, please consider donating to the Telethon Adventurers. One day, the child that you love may need their help.

Merry Christmas to all the angels, and to all the beautiful children and teenagers fighting this Christmas.

I also ask that you please listen to this cover of ‘Fix you’ as you read this blog, to take some time to think of all those affected by Childhood and Adolescent Cancer.

Jess xxx


When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse


When you are sick, everything is heavy.

It is like trying to breathe underwater; everyone knows that it cannot be done. And yet you are forced regardless. They smile encouragement at you, baby steps.

Just one breath at a time.

At first you panic; this isn’t how it is supposed to be. Even infants understand that our lungs are intended for air. It is instinct, ingrained within us.

After a while, you stop panicking. And you learn to float in your own tragedy.

But when your child is sick, you are heavier. It is one thing to be sick yourself, for you understand all that others cannot.

But when your baby is sick, it is different. All that you know is your baby, your world, the reason for your very breath, is at risk of losing theirs.

And now your Mummy is breathing underwater. She fills every bronchiole with the greatest gasp of air.

And then she dives in to save you.

She is drowning, but she doesn’t care, because she knows that she must save you.

And so she stops going to drinks with friends, shopping, worrying about the Christmas decorations or whose turn it is to place the angel on top.

She just has to keep you afloat, and it will be okay.

Even if she drowns in the process.

And she is trying, oh how she is trying. She signs each form sentencing you to Chemotherapy, Megatherapy, Radiation, Nasogastric Feeds, Surgery resections, tumour removals, catheters, cannulas, portacaths, oxygen cannulas.

And that is only the beginning. The world does not have enough ink for all the tragedies her baby must endure.

And she is trying. She is wiping the vomit from his mouth, and trying to keep his tube in place. She is blowing kisses to him when his skin aches too greatly for a cuddle, and she is listening to her babies silence, knowing he is too desperately unwell to even let a whimper escape his cracked and bloodied lips.

And she is tired and her baby is tired. Her husband are tired and her children are tired.

But she cannot sleep.

She is trying to stop her baby from drowning.

And the tears come streaming down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

When you love someone but it goes to waste

Could it be worse?

rick and elliot

The tears stream down his face, and the sobs escape from his throat. His heart aches in every chamber, every ventricle. He is suffocated with every contraction of his arterial walls. For every beat of his heart is a reminder that his baby boy is without his.

And a reminder that nothing will ever be okay again.

I still remember the night his baby boy went to heaven. With a single Facebook post, I sobbed and I screamed for a little boy I had never met. That night, I lost someone who I never realised I had gained.

But on that same night, a Daddy lost his everything.

And it still makes me sob.

His arms ache for a boy who is no longer here. He searches the room for the biggest, brownest eyes, only to be met with blank and empty stares.  He climbs the highest mountains in each and every corner of the earth, all in the name of Elliot. And still he cannot find him.

And today he will blow out 6 candles for the son who is not here to do it himself.

And if you were to ask him the question, he would tell you it could not be worse.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Eyes in the corridoors

The lights guided Elliot home.
And the radiotherapy is igniting Archie’s bones
And I am studying nursing so that I can fix another girl like Tayla.

And they are all so beautiful.

But it shouldn’t have to be like this.

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you want


The truth is, I know what I want. I have known what I wanted from the first second I knew that she had gone to heaven; I want my best friend back.

I love her too much; our friendship, our adventures, our memories. The secrets we whispered at night, from one broken butterfly to another. We had so many plans, so many dreams.

I want to hear her giggle again, and I want her to tell me that it is going to be okay. My heart aches for just one more piece of her writing, one more secret, one more dream. I want to see her studying, in love, dancing and travelling with me. I want her to hear what I learnt at Uni today, and I want her to tease me for my choice in boys.

I want what we had, and what we were going to have.

She is high up above, and I am down below. She has wings, and I have footprints. And I say that heaven is not enough to end our friendship; and it’s not.

But some nights heaven is too far away. I cannot find the clouds telephone number, and I miss her messages. I am running out of memories, and we are not ageing in our photos.

I still have her teddy bear and her dresses. She still has the messages I leave her in the stars, and the promises I made to her when our parents couldn’t hear.

But I don’t have her.

And that’s all that I want.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you


The lights guided Elliot home.
And the radiation is still igniting Archie’s bones.
And I am still studying nursing to try and fix another girl like Goggles

And they are still all so beautiful.

And Childhood Cancer still shouldn’t be happening

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I


And the tears are streaming down our faces
We have lost something which we cannot replace.
Rick and Emily have lost their Elliot.
Claire and Richard have lost the health of their Archie.
I have lost my Goggles.

Rick and Emily have lost seeing their little boy blow out six candles on his birthday cake today.
This moment has been replaced by them visiting their little pirates grave.

Claire and Richard have lost their active, happy little boy.
This boy has been replaced by one who is bald, with tubes and scars, sobbing that he wants to go home from the hospital.

I have lost my future with my best friend.
This has been replaced by whispering to her at night, hoping that my whispers are loud enough to reach heaven.

Tears stream
Down your face
I promise I will learn from my mistakes
And tears stream
Down your face

Our greatest mistake was to love a young person.

Any child or teenager can be affected by Cancer.

And you are making the same mistake. You love your own children, your nieces, your nephews. The children you teach, or your friends in highschool.

Only, it isn’t a mistake at all.

We have each gained more love, laughter and light from the young people we love than what we could ever lose.

Our greatest mistake is that we live in the year 2012, and there is still no cure for Childhood Cancer.

As long as you love a young person, you can be affected by childhood and adolescent cancer.

Today, wish Elliot a beautiful sixth birthday in the clouds.

This week, wish that Archie will get to return home from hospital in time for Christmas with his beautiful family, and that he will soon be Cancer Free.

On Christmas Eve, wish Goggles a beautiful nineteenth birthday in the clouds.

And then on Christmas day, take a moment to thank the world that you are not affected by Childhood and Adolescent Cancer.

But most of all, take a moment to recognise that you have not had chance to meet some of the most beautiful children and teenagers on the earth, and in the stars.

Know that from them, we have gained more than we will ever lose.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try
To fix you


I promise that one day, I will try to fix you.


10 thoughts on “Fix you

  1. As the tears flow my heart goes out to the beautiful Caldow Clan…. and all other families that are carrying their children so gently in their hands.
    A big hug from me to you

    • Claire, Archie and the rest of their family are so beautiful in their fight against Childhood Cancer, you say it so well. Many parents are holding their children so gently, but their love is so great ❤ Much love and light to you x

  2. I have not stopped crying you have a beautiful heart I have lived with cancer for 46 years but he has been lucky it has now come back.i
    Pray every day for Clare liv Charlie and

    • I am so sorry to hear you have lived with Cancer for such a long time. I have only been Chronically Ill for 7 years, I take my hat off to you fighting chronic illness for so long. Much love and light to you x

  3. hi….i just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful posts- i really enjoy reading are such an amazing & beauiful person inside and out & a really talented writer.I hope you have a lovely christmas xx

    Kind Regards Hayley Richards

    Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 01:50:08 +0000 To:

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