Jennifer’s Journey



Jennifer’s Journey

28/11/2000 – 21/04/2004

In August 2003, Jennifer became unwell and after several visits to our GP and the local Hospital it was decided to carry out a CT Scan. The results of this scan began a journey for Jennifer that has been long and hard with upset for all the family. Jennifer however has always remained herself and her strength of will to continue with her play and craft activities has amazed and delighted us.

Jennifer underwent surgery at Kings College Hospital in August and her surgeon informed us then to bring all her close friends and relatives in order to say their “goodbye”. Our very strong little girl came through the surgery and after five weeks at Kings started on the next stage of her journey which involved high dose chemotherapy at Great Ormond street Hospital. This was a difficult time for her, the chemo meant that she was hospitalised most of the time, either receiving blood transfusions at our local Queen Mary’s Hospital or due to severe sickness being kept in Great Ormond Street.

We have a wonderful collection of photo’s, paintings and drawings that show us against all the odds how Jennifer continued to play her way through all the nasty stuff and find humour in every situation. 

During her Chemo, our friends and family held a number of fund raising activities, one in particular being a fun football match “boys against girls”.  The video shows all the support of friends, family and strangers and the funds have helped to form the bulk of a trust fund set up in Jennifer’s memory called “Clowns in the Sky”. When Jennifer had completed her Chemo she underwent a further two operations in the hope of removing any remaining tumour. Our hopes were raised when this was achieved and we were looking towards her six weeks of Radiotherapy in a different light…. Could our little girl really come through this awful battle, dare we hope to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel but sadly a light calling her away from us, we were given the news a week before Jennifer was due to start her Radiotherapy that her tumour had grown back and was bigger than ever…our little girl’s journey was now to take a different path. We had to think in terms of quality and not quantity.

Jennifer underwent ten days of Radiotherapy in order to improve her quality of life. As a result of this she spent a wonderful weekend at Easter with Dylan the Dinosaur (her most favourite person) the love she shared with Dylan, playing on the beach, walking around the camp, dancing on stage filled her last few days of activity with such happiness she continued to talk about them whilst lying on the sofa once back home. Dylan gave her something very special, that only a six foot green dinosaur could give a three year old little girl…. A magical experience….thank you  Dylan.

Our beautiful little girls journey with us ended on the 21st April 2004 at 8.30am cuddled in our arms. She “skipped” her way off to heaven with a smile and a wave…our tears flowing as she went. Our pain and sorrow being so great that at times we think too unbearable….but then we see the life she lived, the happiness and love she received and gave to everyone who knew her this must help ease our pain…as Jennifer would say “it’s okay Mummy, I do love you”.

Goodbye darling , until we come to build those sandcastles in the sky with you, Daddy will bring the bucket and Mummy will bring the spade.

We love you





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When Lynn and Richard Weston lost their daughter Jennifer to a brain tumour aged just three, they could have crumbled. Instead, they have turned a private tragedy into a national charity that aims to help other families who are experiencing something similar. “It was as a result of the journey we followed with Jennifer that we become aware of the gaps in the system and how just a few little things could make all the difference to a child and their family,” says Lynn. “What we learned compelled us to try and make a difference to the next child that walked the same path.”

In 2004, they launched Clowns in the Sky. “The name for the charity came from Jennifer,” says Lynn. “One day we were travelling home from the hospital and she said, ‘Mummy, I can see clowns in the sky’. I thought she meant clouds but she was adamant it was clowns. When we came to name the charity we wanted something positive and forward-thinking. Clowns in the Sky fitted perfectly.” Clowns in the Sky is a national charity that operates on a local level and aims to bring a smile to the face of children suffering from brain tumours. It provides activity and sensory trolleys to 50 children’s wards in 35 hospitals around England, an initiative which has been supported by funding from The National Lottery.

It also sponsors children’s entertainers to visit hospital wards, supports families with immediate financial help to cover things like daily travel expenses and donates a percentage of its funds to medical research. “The play trolleys are designed to offer stimulation, distraction and play during times that the playrooms may be closed or when a child may be too unwell to visit the playroom,” explains Lynn. “By using the trolleys, the playroom can come to the child’s bedside.” The trolleys are available 24/7, meaning there is never a time where a child cannot relax through play.

“We very much believe that quality of life, not quantity, is fundamental,” says Lynn. “It was the ethos of everything Jennifer represented and it’s at the very heart of Clowns in the Sky.”