Founders Story – Darren Nicoll

I am no different to the many people who are diagnosed with cancer each year. I feel lucky to have taken this journey which has taught me so much about life. I am a husband to Helen, father to four wonderful children.

I was diagnosed with stage 4 non Hodgkins lymphoma. We eventually discovered I had a 14 cm tumour in my chest area which was attached to my heart and lungs. The cancer had already spread to my adrenal glands and the prognosis was around 50% survival rate.

This started a roller-coaster of scans, appointments and obviously treatment, which involved 8 chemotherapy sessions and 15 radiotherapy sessions, spanning a period of 12months. This was such a frantic time I didn’t really have time to think, however I did keep a journal which allowed me to document my thoughts, fears and feelings through images and words.

I firmly believe that these journals played a vital part in helping me understand the journey I had been on, especially when I was told I was cancer free. You would think that this would be a time of complete and utter celebration and it was, but it was also a time of refection. I remember my specialist saying ‘you are cancer free, come back in three months’. I really don’t think I have ever felt so vulnerable in all my life. Everything in my emotional world had changed, but my everyday world had stayed the same. I remember freaking out as I really didn’t know how I was going to fit back in to this so called normality? This is where the journals became a vital resource in my recovery, reflecting upon what I had documented helped me understand the journey I had been on.

In creating Nelly Globe I want to give something back and develop creative journals, art auctions, exhibition and other creative projects to allow individuals who have experienced trauma a platform to understand their journeys. Some people are not as lucky as I was and do not have as much support from friends and family as I did.

Many people experience trauma be it from a cancer diagnosis, difficult events in both this country and areas of conflict or other situations. I have always been passionate about creativity in all areas of life. This could be in a million different ways, such as how we interact with others, how we see the world, how we think, the language we use, how we reflect on our everyday and how we understand our emotions; all of which can be captured when journaling.

I want Nelly Globe become a vital resource in allowing individuals to rediscover their creativity as I believe we are all creative and understand their thoughts, fears and feelings through our creative projects.