Here are five of the 15 ‘most liked’ poems


Over the course of the next few days we will be publishing the other 5 poems




Little eyes welling up with tears

“Mamma are you ok?”

Yes, I say as I quickly wipe my eyes

And shield them from pain

Try not to cry I say in my mind

Stay strong, for them, for you.


Little hands reach for mine and they whisper “I love you mommy forever”

I try not to cry as I don’t know if I will be there when they need me most, graduate, have babies of their own.


Constant fear consumes me and the guilt of them seeing me this way.

A puddle on the floor,



Losing control.


I must be brave I say, but my mind is telling me I’m dying.

Every bone hurts, the pounding in my head, ringing in my ears, the slightest noise makes me want to scream.


And some days I snap at those sweet souls just being kids, because I cannot take the sounds, the screams, the chatter.

I want to just disappear but I have to stay here for those little eyes filling with tears

“I need you mama!”


I find a place when they are finally tucked in bed, warm and safe … dreaming of blue sky’s and butterfly’s

And I cry and cry and cry.

 ERIKA BEAUCHAMP – whose chosen charity was Bay Area Lyme Foundation



 Illness is a challenge, it causes us so much loss,

We have a battle on our hands to remind ourselves who’s boss!


I mostly focus on the positives and try to remain upbeat,

But when dealing with so much at once, it’s not an easy feat.


So here is a letter from me to you to tell you how I really feel,

In light of trying to be more open and in the hope it will help me heal,


Dear illness, you’re a friggin thief, you’ve stolen so much away,

From the person I once was to having some of sort of ‘normal’ day,


Sometimes I feel angry about the things you’ve taken from me,

From basics that I took for granted through to my identity,


You took away my social life and any sense of fun,

Your timing was crap as I was starting afresh, a new life had just begun,


You went in hard, took my job and a career that I really enjoyed,

As whilst I tried my hardest I could no longer be employed.


You took my independence, one of the hardest things you stole,

Because without it I have to rely on others and feel I’ve lost my role (and soul).


You stole my the most important thing, my health and the life I knew,

Maybe you thought it was time for me to find a version that’s new,


You stole away my finances and all the savings I once had,

And also from my family, which just makes me feel bad,


You took away the body I knew and my chance of giving birth,

Which as a woman I find hard to accept as it removes my sense of worth.


I don’t know what I’ve done for you to put me through this hell,

But I will fight till I’ve nothing left as I’m desperate to get well.


I also feel it must be hard for my friends and family,

As whilst I’m dealing with my loss, they have also lost ‘ME’


To my illnesses, you’ve certainly made it a challenge so far

And I know that I’ll be leaving this battle with scars,


You have made me a prisoner in so many ways,

But I will continue to fight and make it hard for you to stay,


There’s no way I’m going to let get the better of me,

And one day you’ll be the prisoner and I will be free


You haven’t stole my spirit, my determination or my fight,

Even though at times it feels you’ll take everything in your sight,


I know that I can’t keep you on a leash or on a ball and chain,

As you will still be lurking in me to wreak havoc once again,


As there’s not any way yet I can get rid of you for good,

I feel we need some sort of arrangement where I’m more understood


So I think we should agree it’s time for you to be kind,

And please give some of my life back, my body and my mind.


One day when I feel better I hope I can have a fresh start

And begin to rebuild my life that you have ripped apart.


People tell me I’ll be grateful, will thank you and say “I’ve grown!”

By going through this life changing experience which right now feels so unknown


Maybe they’ll be right and I’ll see things differently one day,

But for now it’s hard to see a future that’s bright, instead of grey.


I can only take it step by step and manage small chunks at a time,

And remain as hopeful as I can that I can reach remission from Lyme!

 VICTORIA HAMLIN –  whose chosen charity was Caudwell LymeCo




This is my body; I know it’s hard to recognise

 I had no choice; it has chosen a new disguise.

 Please don’t pity me. I can see it in your eyes


 Before you categorise, stigmatise, and patronise

 Look closer, I am blessed with the greatest prize

 My spirit thrives, I rise, I am revitalised.


PHILIP ANDERSON whose chosen charity was White Lodge



 Who is that person staring at me?

Her hair’s a mess it’s pink and green.

Her face is flushed, her eyes are weary.

Her arm shakes a lot and she’s incredibly teary.

She has memory problems she forgets to breathe!

And someday it slips her mind, how to write and read.

I’m not frightened of her, I’d easy get away.

Her legs are all so shaky they spasm and sway!

I do feel sorry for her as she’s a prisoner in her home.

Really frustrating, when at one time she was active, loved to roam.


When she got ill people said they would help most offers were fruitless.

I suppose at it wasn’t their life they were too busy so didn’t careless.

A burden to everyone is how she felt,

Her husband kept saying it’s just the cards they were dealt.

No matter how hard she tried ….

She was sad every night she’d bury her head and violently cried.

Who is that stranger who’s now looking at me?

There are a few things in common that we have I do see.

No dear god please tell me that’s not who I think it maybe!

Our eyes meet, a few things I recognise;


Like the scar just above my left eye.

I got that scar when I was climbing a hill,

My life was full of adventure my passion was finding that next thrill.

Then bang the adventure stopped along with my heart.

My husband and family still keep trying to give it a kick start.

I’m not me I don’t know who I am!

I try to move my foot and get twitches in my hand.

I do Keep on trying hard to find a way to fit back in.

But my arms can’t push this wheelchair, it’s a useless heavy thing.


I try to walk but my legs give way,

Unable to breathe I fall to the floor and in silence I lay.

Trapped inside, my house, my head and this body a prisoner tormented for another day.

Who’s this person laying on the floor?

Errm I can’t remember but I once knew her I don’t anymore


JOANNE QUINNELL whose chosen charity is Bendrigg Trust


“You must be sick”

She said with a cold face and empty eyes

I wanted to tell her yet I continue to mask the pain away

With fake smiles and fake words


I wanted to tell her

Of the fire in my head

The ache in my bones

Which have caused my legs to refuse to move


I wanted to tell her that the nightmares follow me.

day in day out and continue to haunt me as I sleep

I wanted to tell her how I feel the time

As it goes by. I feel my light fading


Could I tell her now?

This terrible pain reminded me I couldn’t

So here I lay, just like always

They chat away, as if I were non-existent

Like an object with no meaning


I wish I could go back to when I was a young man

When everything seemed possible

Life was an adventure and those days spent with my loved ones I treasure

To feel the sun on my face, the feeling of living

Those days come and go and my memories falter


“You must be sick!”

She said with a caring face and welcoming eyes

Only this time the pain was gone

I feel myself going and I’m no longer afraid

I see my mother and she asks

“how are you feeling son?”

And I respond, “I’m okay mother.”


NATHAN MURPHY – whose chosen charity is Teenage Cancer Trust