Harrison is five years old and was diagnosed with leukaemia the day after his 3rd birthday.
Like any other three year old, Harrison loved to run around in the garden and was excited to meet new friends when he started nursery.
In summer 2015, his skin turned an unusual shade of brown so his mum and dad, Nikki and Steve, took him to the GP. They were advised to take Harrison straight to their local A&E, where he underwent lots of tests, and later that day a doctor sat them down and explained that Harrison had leukaemia.
“That’s when our whole world fell apart. We didn’t quite understand what we were being told. We heard what was being said, we knew that it was serious but couldn’t believe it was our son they were talking about.”
Finances became a struggle with mum being out of work to take care of Harrison and only one income to cover the cost of travel to/from hospital appointments on top of their usual outgoings. Not only was Harrison fighting his own battle, his parents were also battling to keep a roof over their heads.
Harrison is now two years into his three year treatment plan for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and it has been a difficult journey. He has struggled with colds, line infections, bacterial infections and had even more blood transfusions. There have also been lots of side effects of the treatment that have meant he sometimes struggles to walk, and his body aches a lot, but overall he has been responding well to the treatment.
Harrison should be enjoying his life, going to school and playing with other children, but instead he is often stuck in a room in a hospital and has made friends with the doctors, nurses and play specialists. He has also learnt many new words like ‘portacath’, ‘chemotherapy’ and all the long names for the medication that most adults struggle to pronounce.
“The impact this has had on our family is immense. We can’t do anything without first thinking about Harrison’s needs. If we travel we need to know where the nearest hospital is and make sure we have enough medication and syringes.”