The story of U>Lead

Mum founded U>Lead in summer 2012. She was so excited, and we spent the summer trying to support her.

Six months later, in January 2013, she was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (Stage 4). It felt then, and still does, horribly unfair. For someone who had jogged most days since age 14, practiced yoga, looked after herself, never smoked, we couldn’t understand. Later, the consultant told us how close she’d been to death around diagnosis.

Mum fought, with huge courage. In the following 2.5 years of what was really bonus time, extra time we got because she battled for it every day, she built a successful company. We always packed her laptop for hospital stays, she’d go to meetings after radiotherapy. She loved her work, and she lit up every time she had a coaching call – everything about the exciting people she met, all of it.

Photo taken just after she started the first round of chemotherapy. (Complete with ironing board.)

The saddest news

Sadly, in the end our beautiful, brilliant wife and mother lost her battle with cancer on Friday 12th June.

Words have stopped being able to fit and mean enough to explain the grief and sadness of the last few days – nothing could explain  how crushing it is to see a pair of lonely glasses the day after the hospital. Or to think about how she’ll never meet her future grandchildren, or be there for weddings, and won’t be there when we are home and no, this isn’t a business trip – it’s permanent.

We’re trying to hold on to the fact that at some point, we’ll be able to celebrate and remember the millions of wonderful moments with her with that pain slightly more numb. It’s been so inspiring to receive all the messages about how many people’s lives she’s touched and made better. People we’ve mostly heard of, but never met, who’ve reached out to us and shared their stories and reflections. She was wonderful.

We will always love you, Maria/mum.