In 2005, in the UK, five-year-old Charlie Williams was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a rare and deadly cancer that all too often proves fatal.
Seven years later, Charlie has just been given the all-clear.
This is his story, told in a letter he wrote, in his own words.
We hope that it inspires you as much as it inspires us.
“My name is Charlie Williams.
I could have died by now.
I recently found out I was not going to die.
I had to endure medical treatments that included radiotheraphy, which involved me going into a cylindrical tunnel for half an hour, which is quite scary for a six-year-old, as I was at the time.
I also had several MRI scans (and) the chemotherapy was through a drip which was inserted into my body, in my upper chest, for a few hours at a time every month.
I also had to have lots of blood transfusions.
Needles aren’t the nicest thing in the world and I used to be petrified of them, so you can imagine what it felt like for me to have them inserted into me so often as a child.
Do you think you could cope with all that medical treatment?
How do you think it would change you as a person?
Being ill, and knowing that there might be a chance that you will lose the things that make up your life, makes you value those things.
I think about these kinds of things now, having been ill for so long.
Being seriously ill makes you think about what is important and what is not.
Imagine several days of not being able to put anything, not even a drop of water, in your mouth.
In hospital, I would go to the canteen and watch people eating, but not be able to eat myself.
Just think, if you were that person dying for something to eat and all you can think about is food, but you have to fast for so many hours.
Parents might seem unfair or not let you do the things you want, but they will always help you.
They feed you, they clothe you and they give you a home, but most of all, they help you when you are hurt.
My mum and dad sat with me day after day in the hospital, and watched me being pulled about, having all kinds of medical treatment I couldn’t stand.
I know first hand what parents go through when they see their child in pain.
I’m sure that when I was diagnosed, they thought I wouldn’t get through it.
Can you imagine if your parents thought you were going to die?
Now you have heard from a real-life cancer survivor, I hope my story has shocked you in some way into thinking about your own lives.
Here I am, a normal child, but one who has had an awful journey in the start of his childhood.
But I have also had something positive from it all in that I am more serious and thoughtful about life.
It makes me behave better at school and work harder.
Cancer has made me take a step back, and take a look through the window of life, at what is ahead of me.”
OMs are about people and their stories.
People like Charlie Williams, who inspire us in our efforts here in Saunderstown.
OMs are about love and life and striving to do things better, together.
OMs are kindness, compassion and conciousness ….
…… the shared story of what it means to be alive.
OMs are about the important things in all our lives.
Here’s to Charlie.