Buckingham mum encourages people to hide painted rocks in memory of her daughter

Julie Pugh with her daughter Maisie
Julie Pugh with her daughter Maisie

A mum from Buckingham is encouraging people to hide painted rocks in memory of her daughter who died from leukaemia, at the age of two.

Maisie Wood was born in November 2015 and was a happy and active girl before being diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2018.

Speaking about receiving the diagnosis Maisie's mum Julie Wood said: "I felt just horrific and numb.

"I remember thinking that it was the worst possible news to get.

"We tried to remain positive and focused on her getting better.

"Throughout treatment Maisie was a happy and active little girl.

"She was so strong and full of smiles, in spite of everything that was going on, that she helped us all stay positive.

"She found the fun in everything – hospital didn’t slow her down."

Maisie endured five months of chemotherapy, fighting infections, running temperatures, sickness, diarrhoea, rashes, being confined to barrier rooms, numerous NG tube insertions, blood transfusions, lumbar punctures and bone marrow aspirations.

She was diagnosed as being free from leukaemia but just days before she was due to come home her family received the devastating news that the cancer had returned.

The cancer was aggressive in nature and unfortunately there was nothing more doctors could do.

Maisie passed away in September 2018 and to help keep Maisie's memory alive Julie paints rocks and hides them in various locations both in Buckingham and further afield.

Julie said: "We enjoyed going for walks together and looking for rocks to rehide.

"As I commented on Facebook that we had missed out on finding a CBeebies rock someone kindly painted a rock especially for Maisie that she loved.

"I saw and experienced the happiness of finding rocks first hand so I thought it was a way to spread Maisie's love and help her to travel the world.

"We always wanted to take her on amazing adventures – this way we hope she can still have those."

Julie posted on the Buckingham Rocks group earlier this month about what she was doing and received a phenomenal response - she has since had multiple offers from people to hide rocks at locations across the UK and around the world.

She said: "The response from the Buckingham Rocks members to my initial post on there about painting some rocks for Maisie was fantastic, and prompted us to create the group so we could track all the comments and the journeys the rocks go on more easily.

"We love seeing rocks around town and the more people adding colour to Buckingham the better!

"It has been very emotional but all so positive.

"I am thrilled that people from all over the world, people we have never met, want to join in painting rocks.

"It is lovely to see that families are doing it together, and having fun.

"We have also been told that some school and nursery classes are joining in, and the children will be painting rocks to hide on school trips or their holidays, and that has really made us happy, that she is still helping people have fun together."

Anyone interested in taking part in this initiative is encouraged to paint a rock and post a picture to the Facebook group ‘Maisie Rocks’ which can be accessed here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/339253346718122

It can then be hidden so it to be found ideally with the message ‘Please rehide and post a pic to Facebook Maisie Rocks ❤️ FOR MAISIE #maisie rocks’ on the back.