It was our connection with Joss Rowley-Stark that inspired us to start The Foundation. We were able to play a part in making some incredible memories for Joss’ family, before he sadly lost his battle with cancer. It was after we attended Joss’ funeral that we had an overwhelming feeling to help more families and try to combat this dreadful disease.
Here, Joss’s parents, Tiffany & Graeme share Joss’s story:
“In January 2012, we were given the news that every parent fears – our son had cancer. He was just 14. From day one, Joss never complained, believing that every treatment was one step closer to getting better.
To encourage Joss, his family and friends contacted some of his sporting heroes. That’s how he got to meet the man who become ‘his mate’, Lewis Moody. Lewis kindly came to Sheffield to meet Joss with all of his team-mates for a couple of hours. He then arranged for the family to attend a rugby match at Twickenham and meet other rugby stars.
For one brilliant day Joss was transported from the pain and routine of his treatment. This time was so precious.
In total Joss endured 19 rounds of chemotherapy and 54 sessions of radiotherapy. His condition deteriorated rapidly and in the early hours of 22 April 2013 it was time for us to say our goodbyes.
Living without Joss is beyond comprehension; having to face each single day without him and new experiences which you know he would have loved and enjoyed. The special days he should be here for like his birthday, Christmas time, and family celebrations are all harder to face.
Joss was truly an amazing child. His strength was outstanding and his positive outlook never wavered.
The Foundation means so much to us as a family in so many different ways. It is of comfort to know how Joss touched Lewis' heart to inspire him to start something so special that will help so many others like Joss and ourselves.
We were fortunate to be able to attend one of The Foundation’s Family Days. The families who went along found that they could finally participate in activities that accommodated both their needs, and the enjoyment of their children.
Seeing them taking part in the activities and watching them laugh and enjoy their time was so rewarding.
The Lewis Moody Foundation keeps Joss' memory alive. Our boy made a difference to others in his short but fulfilled life and knowing he is the inspiration behind The Foundation shows us how he is still making a positive difference."