quarta-feira, fevereiro 18, 2009

A carta dele.

Visa Section,
British Consulate,
Rio de Janeiro.

Dear Sir,
Marcela Pontual and I met in February 2007, having been introduced in a bar in Camden, London. The introduction was by a mutual friend, Cristiana Guerra who lives in Recife, Brazil, Marcela’s home city.
I spent the next few months getting to know Marcela before she went travelling in early May. In this period we spent a lot of time together making the most of her remaining time London. We ate out at restaurants, watched films, visited museums and spent time at my house in Crouch End, London.
Marcela then travelled around Europe for 1 month and I met her in Lisbon, Portugal, from the 14th June until the 17th of June (pictures included). This time was spent exploring the city, eating out and spending the last few days together before she returned to Brazil. This was a difficult time knowing that we would not see each other for another 6 months, until I planned to visit Brazil.
I travelled to Recife, Brazil, in February 2008 and spent just under a month with Marcela and her family (pictures included). Marcela’s sister, Rafaela, also lived in London for 11 months and I would consider me and her to be close. This was the first time I had Marcela’s Parents, Romero and Vera, and her brother, Romero, and luckily due to having been to Brazil before I could converse in Portuguese and get to know them properly. I met all the extended family and wish to return to see them as soon as possible. This holiday was an important part of the relationship for me because I got to see where Marcela grew up and to meet her family and friends. Getting to see her background and heritage allowed me to understand her fully and see where she gets her personality and traits.
The Pontual Family then travelled to Europe in May with their final stop being London (pictures included). I spent more time with Marcela and her family, eating in restaurants and showing the family around London. Marcela’s parents returned to Brazil and Marcela stayed and lived with me for a further 2 weeks. This time was spent enjoying London and included visiting mutual friends in Ireland for a long weekend (pictures included).
Unfortunately on 26th July 2008 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia with a Philadelphia positive chromosome and was close to mortality for almost a week. I informed Marcela of my illness and within a week Marcela had returned to London and was by my bedside. Marcela took residency in my property in Clapham, London. I had to undergo high intensity chemotherapy for the first three months with short breaks, at least 6 of the weeks spent in Hospital, Marcela being by my bedside every single day. Before the transplant I was able to spend 4 days with my parents, sister, sister’s boyfriend, nephew and Marcela, which allowed us to relax and prepare for the difficult time to come. It was very important to have this time to reflect on life and prepare for the transplant knowing that the transplant was potentially fatal. On 31st October 2008 I underwent an Allogeneic, full intensity unrelated donor stem cell transplant (pictures included). This procedure put me in isolation for 5 weeks at which point only close family and friends could visit and I couldn’t leave my room. Marcela was again by my bedside, day in day out.
After leaving hospital I still had to return for regular check ups, starting off at 3 times a week and reducing depending on my medical status. In this period Marcela and I have spent time at my relatives houses in surrey and my parents house in Gloucestershire. I would say that due to the situation and the overall time spent with my family that Marcela has become extremely close to all of them. We spent Christmas in Gloucestershire and Marcela returned to Brazil on the 31st December 2008.
Marcela and I share many enjoyments in life; good food, entertaining friends, travel, culture, photography to name but a few. We have many different friendship groups in the UK and Europe and enjoy travelling to spend time with different friends and family. Due to Marcela having spent time in London before she has her own circle of friends, which I also think is very important for a relationship.
I believe that Marcela and I have a very strong relationship. Having spent periods together and periods apart has only strengthened us as a partnership prior to my illness. I believe having Marcela with me throughout my treatment has been imperative to my well-being and recovery, knowing that she was sticking by me day to day. She has been the rock by my side along with all my family. I could not have made it through my situation without my family but having a lover brings a whole different dimension to the situation. It really helped me carry on through the tough times I had in hospital and whenever I was down she was strong for me, not allowing me to feel sorry for myself. I owe her a lot more than she’ll ever appreciate. My Parents run their own business and my sisters has an 18-month-old child and therefore have other commitments in their lives. They spent every moment they could at my bedside but were assured that with Marcela with me everything would be ok. They could speak to her when I was unable and it relieved a lot of pressure off the whole situation. My family and I don’t know what we would have done without her through the last 5 months and are deeply grateful to her and her family. I don’t think many people will understand how my medical condition has affected my outlook on life but it has allowed me to see things differently and being with Marcela means everything to me. I owe her so much and believe that we are as close as a couple can be. I am 100% in love with her and plan to spend the rest of my life with her in England now and then potentially Brazil in the future.
At current we are forced to be apart from each other due to Marcela being in Recife, Brazil and having to apply for the fiancée visa. This time is very difficult for me after having her here for the last 5 months and still recovering from my transplant. We speak online daily with webcam and microphone which helps us carry on a semi-normal relationship but she and I obviously want to be together again as soon as possible. My medical condition not allowing me to travel to Brazil means that I need her here with me in London. Not knowing how my medical condition will affect me in the future gives me an uncertainty in my life and the time I have with Marcela is precious because of this.
We plan to get married in June 2009 when some of Marcelas family can be here with us.

Henry Scot-Simmonds
Senior Civil Engineer
Kier London