Worksop mum pays tribute to friend who made her son’s last wish come true

Janet Buckley, left, presents her friend Debbie Johnson with the Guardian Rose.
Janet Buckley, left, presents her friend Debbie Johnson with the Guardian Rose.

A Worksop mum has paid tribute to a supportive friend who set up a fundraising drive to help make her late son’s last wish come true.

Janet Buckley’s son, Liam, was told he had terminal cancer at the age of 23.

Janet, aged 51, of Holme Way, Worksop, was then forced to take an unpaid leave of absence to look after him.

Following the tragic news, family friend Debbie Johnson, 37, of Blyth Road, launched a fundraising drive to help make Liam’s last wish of a family holiday to the seaside come true.

To show her appreciation, Janet, a teaching assistant at Redlands Primary School, Worksop, nominated Debbie for the Guardian Rose Award and presented it to her on Tuesday.

“Debbie knew Liam loved the coast and set up a Go Fund Me account for Liam so we could have his wish,” Janet said.

“Fantastic friends and strangers raised the money and he got to the coast.

“We made some precious memories. And without Debbie I wouldn’t be able to sit here now and look at treasured photos of Liam on his last holiday.”

While Janet was off work looking after Liam, her husband Darren, 50, a self employed kitchen designer and fitter, was also forced to cut short his hours, meaning that it was not possible to fund a family holiday.

“Missing Liam and living day after day without him is so painful but having photos of him smiling on that holiday means everything,” Janet said.

“Nine months after that holiday I am sat treasuring those photos and will forever. I want to say a big thank you once again to Debbie for what she did to enable us to go away on holiday.

“Debbie has been there for us as a family when Liam was ill and is still there for us every day, supportive chats, cup of tea, nothing is too much trouble for her.”