In August 2017, seven year old Isla woke up unable to walk.
After many horrible treatments, surgery, and radiotherapy, in January 2018 she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) – a form of cancer that meant there were no further treatment options for her.
It was during this devastating time that Isla and her family started to decorate stones. They would take them wherever they went in order to hide them, or give them to friends when they went away. Other people started to join in, and though Isla could no longer get out-and-about without a wheelchair and considerable effort, she loved to see where all of the stones she and her growing army of friends and followers had made ended up – and where the people who found them would leave them next.
From this fun passtime, the idea of #Islastones – where Isla would ask anyone who wanted to create a stone of their own to show it off on our Social Media pages, or use the tag whenever they found one – grew to a Facebook presence with over 75,000 members from all around the world. All having the same fun creating, showing and hunting these precious little works of art.
Stones have been hidden across the world including at the Taj Mahal, India; New Zealand; and a very special stone in Antartica! Through the stones, the lovely people that made them, hid them, and posted their photos, she travelled the world.
Sadly, Isla passed away in July 2018.
#Islastones is her legacy and we are proud to be part of it. We hope you can help make it grow too so that we can use it to raise money and awareness of DIPG and childhood cancer, in the hope of supporting other families that will have to endure what Isla’s did. We want them to know they are not alone.
Above all, though, we hope it’s a little reminder of the fun and happiness she brought to so many people’s lives.
To join in, simply paint your own stone with any design you like, write “#islastones” and “Photo. Post. Rehide.” on it. Then, leave it somewhere where it can spread a little of the joy that little Isla’s idea has given us.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a natural artist or not, just have fun… Like Isla told us “they’re all perfect…”
If you can fit it on your stone please also write “DIPG” to raise even more awareness.
This short BBC film will tell you more about Isla and this group. Please feel free to share it…