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Image of Suzi Mitchell from Taylor Made Dreams
Charity & Social

Suzi Mitchell

Taylor Made Dreams

My son Taylor, was diagnosed with a terminal condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 11, he struggled for four years battling the condition, he had two brain tumours and multiple tumours in his spine. He was a very active boy and before he became unwell, he played football, was a scout and he was learning taekwondo. When Taylor became unwell, two friends of the family, Julie and Trudy set up Taylors Bucket of Wish’s Association, to help raise funds, so that Taylor could tick of his own bucket list. We had watched the film – The Bucket List together and Tay said that if the medical world ever told me that he was going to die, I had to promised not to tell him. He didn’t want to give up and that was his mantra, never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up, his favourite t-shirt was a Nike one that said those very words on the front. It was always in and out of the wash because he never took it off! Tay just wanted to live life to the full. When we watched the movie, I asked him whether he’d like to make his own bucket list, he didn’t know that he was terminally ill, but he knew intuitively, he was a really intelligent young man. We were both teary and he said, yes he’d like to do that, so we set about writing the list for him. We did lots of amazing things like have lunch with David Beckham, we went to see his dream team Tottenham Hotspurs and met Harry Redknapp. He had a private fly over from the Red Arrows and wanted all the teenager things too like an iPad, Fred Perry wallet and funky 3D TV. All of these things obviously cost money and as a single parent caring for Taylor at home, those funds weren’t available to me. Thankfully, Trudy and Julie had set up the association and between them, family and other friends, we raised funds so Taylor could tick off his bucket list. It was at that time, that I knew, in the future I would set up a charity to do that for other children and families. Taylors bucket list took away some of the darkness at an unbearable time, and it brought in some light, we had things to look forward to and we appreciated the opportunities and experiences that we were able to share. The pending loss of Taylor was inconceivable and very traumatic for us as a family.

After Taylor passed away, I started working on my ideas to set up the charity. It was a grieving process that turned into something very beautiful, it was very healing, but I also needed to do it, I needed something positive to make some sense out of the madness. I just needed something to show the world that my beautiful boy and his beautiful soul existed, and because his mantra was to never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up, I was determined not to. I approached my friend Amanda who worked in the charity sector and she helped me to get the charity to registration status and a local business man Shane Armstrong (now an honorary patron of TMD) supported financially to help develop the charity. Taylor’s comic hero John Bishop became the patron of the charity after his passing in 2011

All of the things that have been put in place for Taylor Made Dreams are reflective of my own experience as a bereaved parent and what I believe families need at this critical time. It’s proven from the feedback that we’ve received, that the holistic therapy and counselling service we provide is very beneficial, in fact probably as equal as the bucket list for the children themselves. We’ve had amazing support from local businesses and friends including Diab, Pureprint, Childrensalon, CooperBurnett, AXAPPP, Fidelitiy Internatonal, G.Collins Jewellers, Float and so many more I wish I could mention.

The memories Taylor Made Dreams helps to create keeps Taylor alive, his legacy is now in the smiles of the eyes of children everywhere.

“They call today the present because its such a gift”- Ogden Nash

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About the business

Taylor Made Dreams enables children with life limiting illnesses to achieve their dreams; we also source and financially support holistic therapy and counselling for the families on their difficult journey. In essence we help the child with a life-limiting illness to write a ‘bucket list’ of things they would like to do, places they might like to go, people they might like to meet and things they may like to own.

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