This picture is of our beautiful daughter Samantha Jane. Twelve months ago we were a normal happy family – ourselves, Phil and Kim Thompson, and our two wonderful children, Sam and her brother Nick, who had both met the loves of their lives and were beginning to settle down.

 

Then, on the tenth of January 2009 , our world was rocked. We were devastated when our beautiful Sammy Jane was diagnosed with leukaemia, with MLL – a very rare, very acute and very deadly form of the disease. For seven long months she fought bravely against it, never erring in her belief that she would become the first to beat this particularly vicious strain. We never left her side. Sadly, after a bone marrow transplant which brought its own deadly complications, our beautiful girl passed away in the intensive care unit at St Bartholomews Hospital in London on the thirteenth of August 2009. The light went out of our world and our hearts were broken.

Samantha was born and brought up in Folkestone. She grew from a bouncing baby with beautiful blonde curls into a happy little girl, attending St Marys C of E Primary School and delighting all who met her. She loved new people and new experiences. She tried ballet and jazz dancing, trampolining, joined the swimming club, loved to play netball – playing in the school team – and played the recorder and sang in the school choir. She loved to learn and enjoyed all aspects of school life making many new little friends.

 

Outside of school she joined Brownies and Girls Brigade and loved horse riding, having her own pony and joining The Pony Club.

 

From St Marys she moved on to Folkestone School for Girls where she made many new friends, went on to play the flute and worked hard for GCSE’s and A levels. During this time we had many amazing family holidays and adventures, especially enjoying those to Disney World in Florida where we all immersed ourselves in the magic! Sam and Nick were amazingly close. They did everything together, Sam supporting his football adventures whilst he followed her at horse shows.

 

She was a very special person. Everyone she met was touched by her sparkle and great love of life. She was kind and generous, thoughtful and loving, we were all truly touched by an angel, and she has left a chasm we can never hope to fill.

 

In 2000 Sam took a year out when she travelled to Banff in Canada , learning to ski amongst other winter sports, travelling around much of that country and making many more new friends. On her return, in 2001, she started at the University of the West of England at Bristol , studying English and Sociology, eventually graduating with a 2:1, one of the proudest days of our life! At Bristol she made many special friends, had a lot of fun and met Stuart the love of her life, and her happiness, and ours, seemed complete. Together they travelled in Europe , America – including Hawaii – New Zealand and the Cook Islands. Australia was planned for 2009. They tried every conceivable sport from sky diving to scuba diving. She packed a lifetimes adventures into her short twenty seven years.

 

In 2008 Sam and Stuart brought their first home together, a beautiful little cottage in Writtle, Essex, where they planned their life together – a new adventure waiting to start.

 

We all remained amazingly close and happy. Sam worked in the travel industry which she loved, and all looked set for a happy future.

 

 Her brother Nick had also met the love of his life, Helen, and they too had set up home together, in Folkestone. Sam was due to be a bridesmaid and Stuart best man at their wedding.

 

Then leukaemia struck and our lives were changed for ever.

 

Nick and helen were duly married in August 2010 and Stuart was their best man, but the most beautiful bridesmaid was missing. She was there in spirit - as Nick and Helen stood together on the Leas the most beautiful double rainbow appeared, arching right over their heads.


Together with Sam's partner Stuart, our son Nick and daughter-in-law Helen, we have set up the Samantha Thompson Fund to raise money in aid of the Barts and London Charity to aid research into all acute leukemias.


Perhaps one day a breakthrough will be made and a cure found, and other families will be spared the mental anguish and loss we have suffered. You just don’t realise the impact and suffering this horrible disease can inflict on a family, how quickly your whole world can change, until it happens to you. We didn’t. Help us now. Don’t let our beautiful daughter have died in vain. By helping our cause now you could be helping your own families in the future.

 
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