Duygu was a happy, healthy and active child up until she was 5 years old. She had never been to hospital or ever needed to use any medication. Just before she was diagnosed, she had a continuous cold. I couldn't control her
fever with any medicine. She lost her appetite and started losing weight. Duygu was also complaining of pains in her knees. Her classroom was on the 5th floor and they were walking everyday so I thought she was just getting tired.
One day when she was in the shower, she started complaining that her neck hurts so much it hurt to hold her head up. After three weeks with colds, I took her to the GP. They said she looked fine and sent us home with a 10-day course of
antibiotics, but she didn’t get any better. I knew she wasn’t right, so I took her to A&E. They examined her and said she looked fine, but I wasn’t happy, so I went back to the GP and insisted on blood tests. A day later she was diagnosed.
It was the worst day of our lives. The doctor told me it was Leukaemia. I couldn't understand a word of it. I had to ask my husband to translate it for me.
Her treatment took 2 years and 3 months, but it felt like it was like 20 years to us. My younger daughter was only 9 months old when Duygu was diagnosed. We spent most of our time in hospital, it became our second home now.
Trying to juggle being at hospital and home with my baby daughter and it wasn't easy. It was very draining.
Duygu became a different child when she was receiving chemotherapy and steroids. My lively, fun child was gone, and a moody, aggressive, mostly hungry child came. She was crying for hours when she was on steroids, and I had to
look after my baby at the same time who also needed her mummy. I was so emotionally exhausted but knew I had to carry on. When the steroids finished my Duygu came back to her bubbly lively happy self. Singing and dancing again
as well as drawing pictures for other poorly children.
When her treatment finished, we really needed a break, somewhere clean and hygienic for Duygu as there is always a high chance of infection. We were put in contact with Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund. They awarded us a holiday in
one of their respite holidays homes in Shorefield. It wasn't too far away from the hospital if we needed it. It was a perfect place to be away from the hospital and escape the world of Cancer and Leukaemia for a while. It was clean and hygienic and what we needed to recover from the trauma of childhood cancer.
We had an amazing break with all good memories, thanks to Lennox. We are very grateful to them as they were there when we needed them as a family.
Thank you, Lennox,
Jacob had been suffering with non-stop colds for months. He always looked pale and never had much energy. I took him to my GP three or four times but was repeatedly told it’s normal, he’s just building up his immunity. Jacob started waking more overnight and his bed was always soaked with sweat. I noticed he had a very wobbly walk compared to friends at playgroup and then little lumps appeared all around his neck. The GP assured me it was probably just a virus affecting his glands and to come back in 2 weeks if it wasn’t gone by then. A few days later he quickly developed a small rash on his chest and I took him to the
A&E department at Royal Preston Hospital to check it wasn’t meningitis, but it turned out to be petechiae. The hospital doctor kept him in overnight to run tests and then the next day I was told they’d found “blasts” in his blood. I didn’t know what that meant. We were then transferred to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital as they said “Manchester are better with blood disorders”. I wasn’t told Jacob had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia until after we’d been placed on a bed within the Paediatric Oncology ward.
When the oncology consultant told me Jacob had blood cancer it felt like the world collapsed on top of us. In an instant I was dealing with shock, denial - I was hoping they’d made a mistake, guilt for not being more insistent with asking my GP to investigate, and the absolutely terrifying, increasing fear that my son may not live through this. Having to control my emotions as I listened to the consultants explain Jacob’s particular diagnosis, his treatment plan and prognosis whilst I cuddled him was the first of many harrowing experiences we would all face. The second was when I realised I didn’t know how I was going to tell Jacob’s older brother Tom that his baby brother was seriously ill.
Supporting Jacob through his illness really fractured our family. Tom couldn’t bear to see Jacob and so many other children on the ward suffering so he was unable to come and visit us in hospital. I had to leave Tom with various other family members so I could be with Jacob 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Jacob’s been through the most horrendous fight for his life, particularly during his stays in ICU after he had a reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs and no-one knew if he’d pull through. It was heart-breaking to watch my child suffering, I would have given anything to take his place. As Jacob’s condition improved,
I always tried to make the most of the rare days we could be together as a family over the last few years, but the stress of finding these opportunities and hoping Jacob would be well enough for them made them less enjoyable than I wished they could have been. I feel like Jacob and Tom have missed out on an important few years of their lives together - Jacob’s first early years and Tom’s last years of childhood before he goes off to college. It’s also been hard to cope financially as I’ve had to rely on carer’s benefits and charity since he was diagnosed.
Lennox CCF provided us with a much-needed break away from our worries when they very kindly gave us a week’s respite holiday along the beautiful coast of Hampshire. Jacob had his last dose of chemotherapy on the day before our holiday started so it was a really emotional time for me and I’m so grateful I had the chance to escape with my children, have a wonderful adventure together, and celebrate Jacob’s amazing achievement. It will take around 6 to 9 months for Jacob to recover fully but our week away was also special because it helped me to start thinking about my family’s future with hope and aspiration - something I hadn’t been able to allow myself to do since Jacob’s diagnosis. The level of care and support we have received from the Lennox CCF Team has been phenomenal. I felt so safe knowing they were on hand to help me take care of everything if Jacob became unwell during our holiday and needed hospital care whilst we were so far away from home. I can’t thank them enough.
Jacob is now a couple of weeks past the end of his treatment and doing very well so far. September will be a milestone month for us as Jacob starts his Reception year at school and Tom starts further education at College. For now though we are all enjoying the rest of this beautiful, first, post-treatment summer together that was spectacularly kicked off by Lennox CCF.
Zak is eight years old and lives with his mum, dad and little sister, Holly. Last June he was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that develops when white blood cells called lymphocytes grow out of control. Lymphocytes are an important part of the immune system, and although it is rare in children, more than 160 children develop lymphomas of all types in the UK each year.
Before Zak was diagnosed, he started complaining about a toothache and an ear ache, for which his parents took him to the dentist and doctors. A week later he hadn’t improved and in addition he could no longer smile on one side of his face. His parents started to really worry. It looked like he’d had a stroke.
The GP suspected Zak might have mumps or Bell’s Palsy and hoped it would improve on its own, but after watching their son crying in pain, his parents demanded more answers. A few days later, Zak was taken for blood tests at their local hospital and his parents were given the devastating news that their son had cancer.
Zak was transferred to another hospital where he had lumber punctures and started chemotherapy treatment through a PICC line. His legs became very weak and he often needed to use a wheelchair.
The hospital is a 70 mile round trip, which can be very costly when you have as many appointments as Zak does. So when his parents contacted Lennox last year, we were pleased to be able to help them with a one-off grant for fuel, food and clothing.
Zak has been so brave for the last year, so his parents would like to take him and his sister for some fun days out and much needed quality time together. He is also trying to put on the weight that he lost during chemotherapy so he needs some new clothes too!
With your help, we would love to provide some extra grants for Zak’s family and many other families who have been through a nightmare year like theirs.
Donate below, or go to the Get Involved section of our website to find out how else you can help.
Caleb is five years old and is a triplet. He and his sisters, Poppy and Alyssia, were born at 27 weeks so their first few months of life were not easy. In January 2019, they were able to start mixing with other children at a local playgroup and they even had a 3rd birthday party with family and friends.
One afternoon, Caleb’s mum and dad noticed that he wasn’t himself at playgroup, and later that week he started vomiting and complaining of a headache. She took him to A&E where they were given the devastating news that Caleb had a mass on his brain, and it was bleeding. He would need surgery straight away. After 8 hours of surgery, a biopsy and a 10 day wait, Caleb’s parents were once again given devastating news. Caleb had a rare and aggressive brain tumour known as ATRT.
ATRT stands for Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour. It is a rare and fast-growing cancerous tumour of the brain and spinal cord. Each year less than 60 children worldwide are diagnosed with ATRT and the survival rate is less than 50%.
Our lives were shattered with those four words “Your child has cancer”. I remember looking at Caleb, my little curly haired baby boy and thinking “How can this possibly be real?”
Caleb started 12 rounds of chemotherapy and the family spent most of their time in hospital. The chemo meant that Caleb’s immune system became compromised, and to protect him Poppy and Alyssia couldn’t attend their playgroup. The whole family’s lives changed.
After the first few chemotherapy sessions, Caleb needed Proton Beam therapy too but this could only be given in America.
With my husband self-employed and the two of us split between the hospital and looking after Poppy and Alyssia, there was no income coming in. How could we go to America and still pay our bills at home? It was overwhelming, but we knew we would go to the ends of the earth to give Caleb the best possible chance.
In April 2019, the family travelled to America where Caleb spent six weeks in a Proton Centre being put under general anaesthetic five days each week, in addition to continuing his chemotherapy sessions. After eight weeks they were told they could fly home and Caleb could continue his treatment in the UK.
Being away for so long with no income really took its toll, and Caleb still had another five months of treatment ahead! The family had to rely on charities and donations from fundraisers organised by friends and family to survive.
Getting The All Clear
In December 2019, Caleb’s treatment came to an end and his scans were clear! His family had the best Christmas ever and started to plan their future again.
Just a few months later, the country was put into lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country and Caleb’s family had to shield due to him being only a few months post-treatment. This meant that, once again, they had the worry of no income while they were still trying to recover financially from the previous year.
In May 2020, Caleb’s behaviour started to change again. He wouldn’t stop eating, was sleeping a lot more and could be a little aggressive. He had a scan and his parents were called into the hospital.
I knew the news wouldn’t be good but nothing could have prepared me for what I heard next. Caleb had relapsed. The tumour had grown in the adjacent area and with three new spots. He was placed on palliative care. My world was taken away from me instantly.
Caleb could have surgery, but there were no drugs available that would be able to help him. His parents refused to give up and started researching trial drugs. Eventually another parent came forward to say that their child was on a trial drug in Manchester and suggested that they look into it.
Caleb had already started deteriorating and had been admitted to hospital. He was placed on steroids to slow the growth of the tumour. It could double in size within weeks and lead to haemorrhaging, so time was not on his side.
Thankfully, Caleb was accepted for the trial drug which meant that he could have the surgery to remove the tumour. There were many risks but the alternative was just too terrible to think about. The surgery went very well and all of the visible tumour was removed! Caleb underwent six weeks of radiotherapy before starting his trial drug in October.
There are a lot of side effects and Caleb is being tube fed, but so far his scans are looking good. He will be on this trial drug for up to two years, and it could stop working at any time, so Caleb’s treatment is still considered palliative.
Caleb and his family are living every day as if it’s their last to give Caleb and his sister’s the memories and fun they have missed out on during the last year. They hope to fill 2021 with lots of holidays and fun things.
How You Can Help
There are lots of ways you can fundraise to help us support Caleb's family and others like them. Please visit the Get Involved section of our website or contact our friendly fundraising team on 01708 email@example.com. Alternatively, you can donate now by clicking here.
Ethan is 16 years old and was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in April 2008, when he was only five years old. Ethan’s mum, Clare, shares his journey...
The first thing I noticed with Ethan was the deterioration of his eyesight. He started to miss things that were right in front of him when he had tried to pick them up. Then he became very poorly. He would be struck with a headache, vomit, then sleep for a long time. We took him to the GP and he was diagnosed with migraines.
As his eyes worsened the left eye started to 'wobble'. I was very concerned and asked to be seen by the eye hospital. We got an appointment and that was when our nightmare began to unfold. The doctor wanted to refer Ethan for an MRI scan. I asked if we would get an appointment in the post, but he told us to go right away.
Ethan was put on an emergency list for a scan and had to stay overnight for a slot in the morning. I couldn't make sense of what was happening and I was wholly unprepared for the news that would follow.
After the scan we sat in the recovery bay. As I held Ethan’s hand the doctors were already being informed that my son had a brain tumour and within an hour they were the words I would hear.
I will never forget the sheer panic, the crushing feeling in my chest and heartbreak in its most devastating form. I had my little boy sat on my knee who just wanted to go and play with his toy cars. We were told that the tumour was inoperable and that 18 months of chemotherapy lay ahead of us.
Within hours Ethan had an operation to fit a portocath in his chest and by 9pm that evening he had already received his first dose of chemotherapy. I sat by his side lost and broken. It still feels as foreign to me now that this all happened as it did nearly 11 years ago.
Ethan was very poorly for the whole of this treatment he was sick constantly, not a pinch of colour in his little face.
After 18 months of treatment the nightmare would be far from over. Ethan would go on to relapse not once, but a further four times! He has been on different chemotherapy drugs for most of his life. It's all he has ever known. It's the cruellest emotional rollercoaster in the world. He'd finish a gruelling 18-24 months of treatment, then we'd have an end of treatment celebration, only for it to come back. The last time he completed treatment was the first time we didn't celebrate. It's too hard when he's been let down so many times.
With each relapse more damage was done to Ethan’s vision and now he is registered severely sight impaired. Last summer he trained and got his wonderful Guide Dog, Chaz, who has given him back so much of his lost independence. He has so much to contend with but just takes it all in his stride.
Ethan is a happy positive young boy with strength and determination that is unparalleled to anything I have ever seen before. He recently sat his GCSEs, while on treatment! He had to take breaks to go and be sick but pushed through and achieved what he needed to get into college and do the three A-levels of his choice. He's incredible! He is my best friend and we have travelled this journey side by side. We love going to the theatre, gigs and sci-fi conventions together.
Dealing with this awful situation for so long as a single parent has been very difficult and taken it's toll financially. I've managed to get a job for a few months here and there but it can never last when Ethan relapses, it's just not feasible. Being a Mum to Ethan and him having my support is my priority in life. Financially I wish I could give him so much more, like he deserves.
When he relapses times are especially hard, but Lennox Children's Cancer Fund have always helped us. Every time I have contact with then they are so caring and supportive. As well as listening with a friendly ear, they have alleviated my financial pressures at a time when I really couldn't afford to worry about anything other than my precious child. They have always supported us and I know they will continue to do an amazing job. I couldn't be strong enough to face this next chapter without this much appreciated support.
Information correct at time of production: January 2020
Sophie is six years old and has been undergoing treatment for a cancerous tumour in her chest. She also has achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder that causes disproportionate dwarfism.
When she was four years old, Sophie's mum, Donna, started noticing that she was acting strangely. She stopped playing with her toys and didn't want anyone near her. She kept getting colds, started having seizures and had chicken pox 19 times! At first Donna thought it might be connected to her achondroplasia, but following lots of test and scans, a large cancerous tumour was found in her chest. She was diagnosed with stage 3 PNET/Askin's tumour - a tumour in the bone or soft tissue.
Sophie underwent ten weeks of gruelling chemotherapy before having surgery to remove 50% of the tumour. The rest of it couldn’t be removed because the tumour was wrapped tightly around two of her ribs causing them to break. She also had 12 million stem cells removed so that they could be harvested and put back later. Radiotherapy was not an option because of the location of the tumour so instead she started a new course of high-dose adult chemotherapy.
Seven year old Summer, her mum and her three year old brother were just like any other happy family until September 2018, when Summer was diagnosed with cancer and their lives fell apart.
Summer has T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, which means that her white blood cells have become abnormal and are growing in an uncontrolled way. Lymphomas are the third most common cancer in children, although they are usually much more common in boys than girls.
Summer was only six years old when her symptoms started to show. It was during the school summer holidays, just before she started year one of infant school. She had a nasty cough, as well as facial swelling and bulging veins on her chest and neck. Eventually, while in intensive care, a chest x-ray revealed a 10.5cm wide tumour that was supressing her windpipe and heart.
Summer’s current treatment includes daily chemotherapy tablets, weekly blood tests, monthly chemotherapy injections through a port and five days of steroids each months. Once this part of her treatment plan is complete, she will have lumber punctures and chemotherapy injections into her spine every three months. Her treatment is not due to finish until 31st December 2020.
Summer’s immune system has been so low that she has had to miss nearly a whole year of school and hasn’t been able to go to any of her friends birthday parties.
Summer’s mum is a single parent, which means that she is not able to work while Summer is receiving her treatment. She said “It [cancer] has caused massive emotional, physical and mental stress for the family, and even more so for Summer while undergoing chemotherapy. I’m not able to work while caring for Summer full-time, and being a single parent with no support, it has been a very stressful time”.
Research carried out by Clic Sargent showed that having a child with cancer costs the average family £600 per month on top of their usual outgoings. This includes many unexpected costs such as travel to and from appointments, higher utility bills because parents need to make sure their home is warm enough and have to wash their child’s clothes and bedding more frequently, food and drink for parents during hospital stays and treats to make hospital more manageable. In addition, many parents suffer a loss of income when they need to take time off to attend their child’s appointments or one parent simply cannot work at all.
Summer’s treatment is causing her to grow at a rapid rate so financial support from Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund, in the form of care grants, will enable her to get some new clothes and to have some violin lessons. The care grants will also help to pay some utility bills and perhaps allow the family to have a few days out if Summer is well enough.
Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund can only help Summer’s family, and others like them, with your help! The charity receives no government funding so they rely solely on the support of individuals, organisations and businesses to be able to continue making a positive difference to the lives of children like Summer.
Harry is just like any other two year old. He is cheeky, mischievous, very active and loves being outside. He enjoys playing with his big sister, Isobel, who he adores, and he loves to annoy her too! He loves planes, helicopters, diggers, fire engines and anything else with a ‘nee-naw’ sound, but unfortunately Harry doesn't lead the ‘normal’ life of a two year old. In January 2018, Harry was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma.
This is Harry’s journey, as told by his mum, Carly...
“Harry was not quite himself for around two months prior to diagnosis. He wasn't eating a lot, he was restless at night, he became very clingy and seemed tired. I took him to the doctor only to be told it is more than likely a virus. That Christmas, he wasn't interested in his new toys and by the new year his tummy looked bigger and no longer in proportion.
I took him back to the doctor on 2nd January and he was referred to our local hospital for further investigation. I was immediately worried but tried to reassure myself that it couldn't be anything serious as he stopped crying as soon as I picked him up. After various tests and scans, we were invited into a room with a box of tissues on the table. We immediately knew it wasn't going to be good news. We were told they had found a 16cm tumour growing in Harry's tummy! I immediately blamed myself. How did I miss a tumour the size of a ball growing inside my little boy? We felt numb, lost and scared of the journey ahead of us.
The next few weeks are a bit of a blur. We were in a bubble. We blocked people out. We were just focused on Harry and keeping it together to make a daily phone call with Isobel who played happily at her grandparents, blissfully unaware that our family life would never be the same again. Our local hospital is not equipped to treat Harry's condition so we have to make a 135 mile round trip for every appointment or stay.
At first Harry went downhill. He slept a lot and when he was awake he cried in pain. But thankfully, a few weeks later he began to improve. He moved around the bed more easily and didn’t seem to be in so much discomfort. By the end of January he ventured out of his bed space and started to became a cheeky chap again, high fiving the nurses and marching up and down the corridors pushing a dolls pram. He is such a character and brings a smile to everyone’s face. We are so proud of our brave boy.
In addition, Harry’s dad Ali, is self-employed, so has been working hard throughout Harry's treatment to make sure the bills continue to get paid. Unfortunately bills do not stop because your child has cancer!
In July 2018, 11-year old Micky was diagnosed with a very rare, high-risk leukaemia known as Early T-Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia or ETP-ALL. Prior to diagnosis Micky was a promising motocross rider with a passion for bikes.
While leukaemia is generally considered treatable, ETP has a very poor prognosis, so doctors advised Micky’s parents to start making happy memories with him.
Micky received high-dose chemotherapy three times a week, and high doses of steroids. He also had blood and platelet transfusions, and daily visits from community nurses. The side effects were especially difficult for him as an 11 year old boy - he gained weight and his blonde hair fell out.
A Big Surprise
Three months into Micky’s treatment, his parents were told his chances of survival were very low and to expect the worst and start making memories. He underwent another bone marrow test and the results were most unexpected… Micky was cancer free!
If the cancer ever came back there would be very little doctors could do, so to prevent a recurrence, Micky had a bone marrow transplant, as well as eight rounds of radiation and another high dose of chemotherapy.
“It was very hard to watch but Micky smiled and joked all the way through, he had strength that made me beam with pride”
The Fight Continues
A few weeks after his transplant, doctors gave the dreaded news that the transplant wasn’t working and a search for a new donor began. Doctors began testing Micky’s siblings, but before they could go ahead with a second transplant, the first one started to work!
Micky has been in isolation at Great Ormond Street Hospital since November 2018, during which time his weight has dropped to four and a half stone. Though he remains a high risk, doctors are still confident that he has a good chance of recovery.
“Being stuck in isolation has been bleak and heart wrenching. I have never felt so useless as a parent and felt so out of control”
Micky is not allowed to go to school for a whole year following his transplant, and he needs to be in isolation for six months while he recovers. After everything he has been through, he finds it hard to do a lot of the things we normally take for granted, but his parents are just grateful to have him. They have faith that Micky will go from strength to strength and that his courage and determination will get him through.
How We Helped
Regular trips to and from hospital, as well as hospital parking, and food and drink during stays are very expensive. Micky’s diet was very specific, so the cost of food shopping also increased when he was at home. Thanks to your support, we were able to supporting Micky’s family financially during his fight. We also held a birthday card appeal for Micky's 12th birthday. Micky personally opened every single one, and they really helped to make his birthday extra-special while he was stuck in isolation.
Thank you to all of our fundraisers and donors whose support enabled us to help Micky's family finanically, also to everyone who sent cards and gifts for his birthday, and to the staff of Nuffield Health in Fulham who sent a wonderful video message for Micky too! Thank you also to Matt's Missions who joined us in the birthday card campaign, and sent us a massive parcel full of cards sent by their supporters too!
We are deeply saddened to announce that Micky lost his fight on Saturday 13th April 2019, while at home with his family.
A special thank you to everyone that took the time to post a card, send a message or make a donation to put a smile on his beautiful face. We hope Micky rests peacefully and send our love to all Micky's family, friends and loyal supporters.
In January 2018, Lulu was diagnosed with high-risk stage 4 neuroblastoma. She was just 4 years old at the time.
In the UK, around 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year. It is a tumour arising from particular nerve cells, which run in a chain-like fashion up the back of the abdomen and chest into the skull. Usually neuroblastoma is discovered in the first few years after birth, but because Lulu’s wasn’t, it had a chance to spread and do more damage. She had surgery to remove the main tumour but the cancer had already spread to her lymphatic system, her legs and bone marrow.
Since January, Lulu has had at least 28 doses of chemotherapy, countless nights in hospital including 33 days in isolation, multiple blood transfusions and stem cell transplants. Next on her schedule is radiotherapy and immunotherapy which will continue until at least summer 2019. The treatment schedule is very aggressive to treat this horrible disease.
Lulu’s parents are so proud of the way she has handled everything she has been through.
“What is amazing is that Lulu has always had a beautiful smile on her face and has a cheeky sense of humour making us and her nurses laugh. Her bravery and courage are such an inspiration”
There are many painful side effects of Lulu’s treatment, but one of the hardest things for her to deal with is being separated from her 11 year old brother, Archie, and being away from home. She has also missed a lot of school, as she is either at hospital or has a high risk of infection due to her treatment, so she has missed her school friends a lot too.
The cost of supporting Lulu’s treatment schedule is one of the many hidden impacts of cancer.
Lulu’s mum used to work at her school as a Teaching Assistant but has had to give up her job to care for Lulu.
The long commute to and from the hospital has taken it’s toll on Lulu’s family financially. However, her local hospital does not offer the specialised treatment she needs, so they have no choice. With her mum unable to work, these costs have had even more of an impact.
"After high dose chemotherapy, Lulu had three weeks of radiotherapy and has now started immunotherapy which will last until May 2019. This involves tablets at home for three weeks followed by a ten day stay in hospital having an infusion to treat the cancer which needs to be combined with morphine as it can be quite painful.
"Lulu has developed some complications. Her lungs have been damaged by the high doses of chemotherapy so her lung capacity has been reduced by 30%. At this stage we do not know if the damage will be permanent. She also has an issue with her kidneys which is causing high blood pressure which will need a further operation to resolve.
Thank you to everyone who has donated money for Lulu's family, and all the other children that we support. Thanks to our supporters, we have been able to provide care grants to help with the costs of hospital travel for Lulu's appointments, as well as offering a regular listening ear on the phone.
Neuroblastoma is one of the most aggressive childhood cancers with a 50% relapse rate. Following a relapse, the chances of survival are just 10%. Lulu's family have discovered that there is further treatment available which trains your immune system to identify cancer and eliminate it. This treatment is only available in one of the leading cancer centres in the world, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Centre in New York. They are now trying to raise £162,000 to fund this treatment to give Lulu the very best chance of survival.
Solving Kids' Cancer are heading the appeal to raise the £162,000 that is needed for Lulu to receive this treatment. You can donate to their campaign here: https://solvingkidscancer.org.uk/campaigns/lulu/
Alternatively, you can still donate to Lulu's family through our website by quoting 'For Lulu' when you make your donation.
“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.”
Harrison’s 3rd birthday party, which was the following day, had to be cancelled because he was too poorly to leave hospital. He began receiving blood transfusions to make him stable and spent nearly four weeks in hospital while they fitted a portacath, gave him x-rays and scans, and started chemotherapy.
Harrison has an older brother and sister, Finlay and Libby, who are 11 and 13. They had to stay with family so that their mum and dad could concentrate on Harrison while trying to take in what was going on and the impact it was going to have on all their lives.
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.
Thanks to the help of our supporters, Harrison’s family have been receiving emotional assistance from our family support team, as well as some small grants to help them through tough times financially.
“It’s been so nice to have Lennox at the end of a phone, helping with a holiday, advising us on how to fill out forms, and even giving us money to support Harrison’s needs”
His treatment isn’t due to finish until the end of this year and then his family will have an agonising few months to wait before they know if he is leukaemia free. In addition, they are all still living in temporary accommodation and struggling to make ends meet so we need to continue supporting them in every way possible.
Amy was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, when she was only seven years old. Initially, her parents thought she had a urine infection and took her to the hospital for a routine scan, but unfortunately, the scan turned into something much more serious when it revealed a growth on her adrenal gland, which is just above the kidneys. Amy had neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that affects around 100 children each year in the UK.
"You never think that this will happen to your child"
The cause of neuroblastoma is unknown but it is less common in children over five years, like Amy. Treatment can vary greatly from patient to patient depending on the stage of the neuroblastoma and the age of the child.
Amy’s diagnosis was a huge shock to everyone, but thankfully, further tests and scans confirmed that the cancer hadn’t spread to anywhere else in her body. This meant that Amy wouldn’t need chemotherapy or any other unpleasant treatment, however, she did require an operation to remove the tumour. Amy underwent seven hours of surgery in November 2014 and the tumour was successfully removed.
For the next two years, Amy underwent regular scans to check for any signs of relapse, but other than that, she was a normal, bright and bubbly little girl.
Sadly, this was to be short lived, as in November 2016 one of Amy’s scans showed an abnormality. Further tests revealed that the cancer was back, but this time it was in her pelvis, and surgery was not going to fix it. Her family were devastated. She had a Hickman line put in and began chemotherapy immediately.
"When Amy was first diagnosed we thought that we had been lucky in that she only had surgery and life went on, but when the scan showed it had returned, our lives fell apart"
Amy has two older brothers who adore her. Her oldest brother sat his GCSEs while Amy was going through her treatment, and her other brother had to spend a lot of time with friends and family every time Amy had hospital appointments.
Amy’s little body found treatment very hard to cope with and she became very ill. She also developed an infection, which resulted in sepsis and had to be rushed into surgery to remove her Hickman line early.
The doctors had planned to give her a stem cell transplant but after eight rounds of chemotherapy, it was clear that her body would not be able to cope with it and the risk would be too high. Her family went to see a specialist to find out if Amy was able to trial a new treatment but sadly, she wasn’t eligible for that either, so instead, she had a new Hickman line put in and started a new chemotherapy which was less toxic than the previous one.
Amy is now halfway through her current course of chemotherapy and she has been lucky to spend more time at home with her family this time around.
"Amy still continues to fight and is doing a lot better on the chemotherapy than before!"
Amy has been unable to attend school since December 2016 so her mum, Natalie, has had to give up work to look after her full-time. She has received support from social workers at the hospital who suggested that she contact us.
The hospital where Amy is treated is an hour away from her home, and she currently attends every day for two weeks, each month. The cost of their travel is having a huge impact on the family so, with your help, our care grants project will support Amy’s family by providing regular grants to cushion them financially.
Amy has lost a lot of weight as a result of her treatment and none of her clothes fit her so mum and dad are also hoping to buy her some nice, new, comfortable clothes.
Update from Amy's mum - November 2017
"Amy has had a scan over the last few weeks which was clear of any cancer, so she only has to do two more weeks of chemo (last one ending 1st December). She'll then have more scans and if all is okay she will move on to maintenance therapy after Christmas!
Amy is doing really well in herself but is finding it hard not being able to go to school at all to see her friends. She is feeling a little lonely after a long year of treatment. We are hoping that by the summer next year all this will be over and we can get back to some kind of normal if that is possible.
We thank you all for your financial support over the last few weeks it has made things a little easier and we are so very grateful!"
Benny is 11 years old and lives with his mum, dad and 14 year old brother, Jack.
In May, Benny came home from school complaining about a sore throat and he had a fever. After a trip to the doctor he was told he had tonsillitis and given a course of antibiotics, but that weekend a rash came up around his ankles and quickly spread to his arms and torso. Benny’s mum and dad thought the rash might be a reaction to the antibiotic he was taking, but took him back to the doctor as a precaution.
Benny was sent for blood tests and after a long day in hospital, his mum and dad were called into a consultation room. They were still expecting to be told that Benny needed a tonsillectomy, but to their complete shock, they were given the devastating news that Benny had leukaemia.
The whole family’s lives were turned upside down as they started to think through the implications of Benny’s diagnosis. The doctor told the family to clear their schedule of all plans and commitments for the next 3-6 months. This meant that their upcoming holiday to visit family abroad had to be cancelled. Benny cried when he was told as he had not seen that side of his family in six years and it was meant to be a very special holiday where he would meet his new cousin for the first time.
“I know it sounds clichéd, but a situation like this really is every parent’s worst nightmare. My wife and I were both in a real state of shock. I knew I had to pull it together for Benny but there were times when I just couldn’t hold back the tears, no matter how hard I tried”
The next day Benny was transferred to another hospital, which is 90 minutes away from their home, and that was where he spent the next 29 days having his initial treatment. It was extremely stressful trying to organise travel back and forth, meals, parking, accommodation as well as someone to look after his brother, Jack, while he completed the last six weeks of his school term.
Mum and dad knew that when Benny came home from hospital, his immune system would be really low and his mobility would be restricted. The only bathroom in their house was in desperate need of modernising to ensure that it was hygienic enough for Benny to use, and his bedroom needed major repairs too. The family had to live apart while the work was carried out and additional damp problems were fixed.
All the building work drained their savings, and in the same month the car had electrical problems, and Jack got tonsillitis so had to be kept away from Benny! The worst thing was the realisation that this was only the start of their fight against leukaemia, and there was a long road still to travel.
Benny’s dad, Ally, did some research online and came across our website. He made a care grant application and was awarded some money to help with the costs that were incurred during Benny’s hospital stay, such as parking, food, clothing etc. However, Ally told us that what he found most helpful was the practical and emotional support offered by our Family Support Team.
“Honestly speaking, my chat with Lennox, more than any other, was really uplifting for my spirits. To have someone on the other end of the phone who could give practical advice in such a brilliant way. I really can’t find enough words to praise them. You dread the idea of having to ask for assistance for fear of being stigmatised but after that conversation I realised that you do need support and it really is out there.”
On day 29, the doctors brought the good news that Benny was in remission, but treatment would continue as it was probable that leukaemia cells still lurked in his body. Benny was discharged, and became an outpatient.
Although the family were reunited and able to establish routines again, Benny’s lack of mobility due to muscle wastage made things difficult. The use of a wheelchair facilitated an improvement in his mobility although he was still keen to stay home rather than venture out anywhere. He kept saying that this life was ruined by leukaemia.
After being home for just six days Benny was admitted back into hospital because his temperature spiked over 38 degrees. The doctor said that his consolidation period and regime had to be changed so it was going to take twice as long as was initially thought. While in this treatment phase, he also cannot be more than an hour away from the local hospital in case of another spike in temperature.
Benny will only be able to attend school on vastly reduced hours and is missing out on his final year of primary school’s annual residential trip in September that he was really looking forward too. He has big challenges facing him over the next three years but Benny has accepted his diagnosis and is up for the fight. His bubbly personality, cheerfulness and politeness will see him through as well as the love and support from family, friends, oncology staff and of course, our Family Support Team.
Benny is almost two years into his treatment and things seem to be going well, his family remain very cautious but optimistic.
The medical team are pleased with his progress and he has had pretty good school attendance recently with only a couple of hospital admissions in the past year!
Harry was in a wheelchair for a long time after his surgery and had to learn to walk all over again! He has fought hard and although he was in a wheelchair for a long time, he has learned to walk again.
In January 2017, following one of his regular MRI scans, his family were told the devastating news that the tumour was growing and had spread to his brain. He had to start an 18 month course of chemotherapy right away and is now a third of the way through.
The chemotherapy is killing his good cells as well as his bad ones, which means Harry is neutropenic most of the time, and as a result the family haven't been able to go out much in the last 18 months.
Harry lives with his mum, nine year old sister and two younger sisters. As a single parent family, money is tight, so the funds raised for Harry and his family through this appeal will be used to put decking in their garden, lay Astroturf, and get some nice play equipment. Harry is still neutropenic and cannot go out (other than for hospital appointments), so it is important that he has a nice, safe outdoor area to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. The Astroturf will reduce his chances of getting an infection and some decking will make it more accessible for his wheelchair.
My wife, Rachel, and I have three beautiful children, Leonie, Kenzie and Roxie-Beau. Roxie is our youngest and is the heart of our family. In December 2015, she was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a cancerous tumour on the brain.
A year later, after chemotherapy and the all-clear from the doctors, she was diagnosed with a regrowth of the same tumour. Throughout Roxie’s journey I kept a diary, so this is our story…
Roxie-Beau was just two years old and kept being sick in the mornings. She also became unbalanced, went off her food and milk and her attitude changed, but we just assumed it was down to the ‘terrible twos’. After countless doctor’s appointments, an MRI scan showed that Roxie-Beau had a brain tumour in her head the size of a cricket ball. Our hearts were broken, words couldn't describe the numb feeling.
Roxie immediately had 9 hours of surgery, followed by another 15 hours of surgery to remove the tumour. Her hair was shaved and she had tubes everywhere. Afterwards, the doctor who was performing the surgery came and told us we had lost Roxie twice during the surgery, but they had successfully removed 99.9% of the tumour. Roxie was placed in intensive care. It was so hard to see our little princess motionless and with wires and tubes everywhere. The doctors did tests on the tumour and told us it was the dreaded ‘big C’ and that Roxie would need chemotherapy for 7 months.
Throughout this our other kids were at home, and though we were in touch with them everyday via FaceTime, it wasn’t the same as being around them, especially at Christmas time.
Roxie had more surgery to have a Broviac line fitted in her chest to get medicines and chemotherapy drugs into her. Seeing all her different drugs was shocking but Roxie took it all in her stride. She was so brave, and we were finally getting lots of cuddles and a few cheeky kisses!
When Roxie’s chemo started, we had to start looking at our future financial plans. We’d already had six weeks without being paid, which took a toll on us financially. Family helped us where they could, which was difficult as we are a proud family, but SSP alone just isn't enough to live on. We agreed to get part one of the chemo out of the way and then split shifts at the hospital so that I could work.
The months went quickly, and splitting our time between the hospital and home seemed to work well, however, not being able to put in the hours at work made money very tight. During the second stage of chemotherapy, Roxie had to shower every 6 hours and have all her bedding and clothes changed each time, so we had to buy her lots of extra shorts and vests.
Most days Roxie just laid motionless, and the feeling of not being able to help her crushed me inside. I was supposed to protect my little girl, and I couldn't. I hated the world so much and I kept blaming myself, thinking I could have done something differently.
Roxie finally reached the end of her chemotherapy, and was allowed to come home. She had an MRI scan to compare to future scans and the results showed that all was ok and there was no re-growth. We were the happiest parents alive and to celebrate, we scraped some money together for a takeaway treat.
Roxie had a lovely summer, other than one short hospital stay, because of a dangerously high temperature that was caused by an infection. Roxie also had regular check-ups and visits from the community nurse.
One year after diagnosis Roxie had a great few months and she was very excited for Christmas. She understood that she would get some presents and wrote a letter to Santa. After everything we’d been through, we thought this would be the best Christmas ever.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be. Only weeks before Christmas, Roxie had a routine MRI scan that showed something abnormal. Roxie’s brain tumour had grown back. Rachel and I started to cry, we were both numb. Roxie was playing peek-a-boo with the other doctor, and we were confused because she hadn’t shown any of the signs she had last time. We were so shocked. Seven months of chemo had been a waste. What now?
My work said I could have as much time off as I needed, but only with statutory sick pay, and our other children went to stay with family. They were devastated, but putting on a brave face and acting so grown up about everything.
Roxie needed surgery, lots of surgery. Roxie underwent six operations in 17 days. She was bed bound and didn't move for days. She was in so much pain and cried whenever she wanted to move.
Roxie wasn’t allowed home for Christmas, which meant our family were divided again. She didn't even know what day it was, and only managed to open a few presents. Rachel and I were both so upset that we went outside for a cry.
After Christmas, Roxie had another three operations and, thankfully, started to improve. She had a CT scan in preparation for her radiotherapy, and had tattoos (yes tattoos!) to mark where the radiotherapy would be aligned to.
We took Roxie home for three days and when we went back, the doctors asked to see us immediately. They had found a dark patch on the scan and wanted to delay the radiotherapy for her to have further tests. More scans revealed that the tumour had re-grown since her surgery five weeks earlier! We were devastated all over again. Was Roxie ever going to get a break? She had radiotherapy blasts to her head and back, plus eight different medicines three times per day.
In January, Roxie finally got a clip in her hair. Proud daddy moment, her hair came back a lot in such a short space of time.
Me and my big mouth, three weeks into radiotherapy Roxie lost all her hair in one night. I woke up looking like Teen Wolf! Heart ache all over again, will she ever have any hair?
How You Have Helped
Reading this back has opened my eyes to a lot of things that we went through as parents - things no parent should ever have to go through. Work, hospital, work, hospital, work, hospital. That has been our lives. However, Roxie has been happy thanks to the iPad, Play Doh, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and Mashums keeping her entertained at the hospital.
I have always worked hard and I strive to do my best for my family, but nothing could have prepared us for the costs that have been associated with Roxie’s diagnosis. We live so far away from the hospital that there is no way to avoid the debt, it’s not just a quick car journey now and again.
We are a proud family who have been thrust into a difficult situation, and we hate asking for help. However, the support we have received from Lennox has helped us to pay outstanding bills and get 'back in the black'! Your donations have also put a smile on Roxie’s face by helping us to purchase a little playhouse and we are so grateful.
Roxie's dad has told us that he is extremely grateful for the financial and emotional support that the family have received from our team. It has allows them to concentrate solely on their family and spend less time concerned about finances.
Your donations have also enabled Roxie's family to book a family trip of a lifetime to Disneyland in Paris later this summer! They have promised to send us some photos when they get back!
To read Aaron’s full diary, and more about Roxie-Beau’s story, visit: www.lennoxccf.org.uk
To make a personal donation to Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund for Roxie-Beau’s Appeal:
Text ROXB43 £5 to 70070 to donate £5
Text ROXB43 £10 to 70070 to donate £10
Brooke is three years old and lives with her mum (Charlene), dad (Kenny) and 8 year old brother, Kaycee. Brooke’s journey with cancer started on Sunday 2nd October 2016, just after her first family holiday to Mexico, which her mum and dad had spent years saving for. This is Brooke’s story, told by her mum…
“It was Sunday morning and we were going to lunch to celebrate Brooke’s nana and papa’s ruby wedding anniversary. I was getting Brooke ready when I noticed some purple spots on her belly which I thought could be a rash or sun spots from our holiday. Kenny and I called the NHS out of hours helpline who advised us to take her to A&E. The doctor examined Brooke. He said her spleen was enlarged and she had bruises on her back. She also had bruises on her legs, which we had put down to playing in the waterpark on holiday and running around with her brother like all normal three year olds do.
We were taken to the out of hours department in the children’s ward where Brooke had a blood test. I burst out crying and asked the doctor if she was going to die. I had researched the rash online and I just knew it was going to be leukaemia. When the results came back, the doctor told me the words any parent would dread “I’m very sorry, it looks like it’s leukaemia”. Kenny and Kaycee were devastated too.
I made the dreaded call to my mum and dad and I will never forget the scream my mum made when I told her. They came to the hospital to pick up Kaycee, and the rest of us slept in a family room that night. Life was never going to be the same again.
The next morning, we were transferred to another hospital by ambulance, we didn't know when we would be home again so Kenny went home to get us some supplies. I was still traumatised but the ambulance men were really kind.
When we arrived at the hospital, Brooke was taken up to the oncology ward on a stretcher. I was crying and people were looking at me with sympathy. I kept thinking ‘I shouldn't be here’ and just wanted to grab Brooke and run home with her.
She had a bone marrow test to confirm that she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and had surgery to insert the port where she would receive her chemotherapy treatment. Then it all started.
Our princess was going to lose her beautiful hair that she had never even had cut. It was down to her bottom. I was distraught.
We were allowed to take Brooke home, but she kept being re-admitted to hospital. The first time with a temperature, as we had been instructed to take her straight back if it rose above 38 degrees. The second time with a serious infection in her gut which had spread to her blood. She had no immune system as a result of the chemotherapy and was so poorly that she needed to be monitored in a high dependency unit for two days. We thought she was going to die. It was devastating.
We are always on edge worrying about Brooke. I check her temperature all the time as I get so worried I’ll miss it. This means I don’t get much sleep because I’m awake until 3am checking up on her.
This whole journey has been incredibly hard emotionally and financially. While this was all going on, I had to take time off work and I knew I wouldn't be able to go back for the foreseeable future. I was also doing a university course which I couldn’t give up or delay if I wanted to finish the course before Brooke started full time school. We had to figure out how to survive financially.
I had a company car that I had to hand back when I stopped earning. This has made it very difficult to get to appointments as the hospital is two bus journeys away and Brooke isn’t supposed to go out because of the risk of infection. I rely heavily on my dad to help out and Kenny takes us when he can, but it’s difficult now that he is back at work.
Brooke is now waiting to start her 3rd phase of treatment which will last for nine weeks. Once this phase has started, the treatment will last around two more years. Phase 4 is the really intensive part so we expect to spend more time in hospital when that starts.
We were recently told that Brooke is on the A regime for treatment which is the best one we could hope for. I know deep down that my little princess and my family are going to come through this horrible situation and that we’ll be just fine at the end. Brooke is an amazing, strong little girl and we’re so proud of her.”
Charlie is one and lives with his mum, dad and seven year old brother Connor.
Charlie was diagnosed with cancer after developing a black eye, lumps on his head and neck and becoming very pale. He was only 10 months old and generally a very happy and healthy baby, so cancer was the furthest thing from anyone's mind.
Following a GP visit and an urgent blood test, Charlie’s parents were given the news no parent wants to hear "your son has cancer".
“Our hearts were broken and our world changed forever”
Charlie was rushed to hospital where tests and scans, confirmed he had stage four, high risk, neuroblastoma - one of the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer.
Charlie's condition was serious, he had a tumour the size of a grapefruit in his abdomen, plus tumours behind his eyes, in his chest, behind his liver, in his facial bones, in his spine, ribs, pelvis, shins, base of his skull, and a large tumour in his head, which was squashing his brain. The cancer had also spread to his lymph nodes and bone marrow.
“His tiny body was completely taken over by cancer”
Charlie immediately started 70 days of rigorous chemotherapy, it was called Rapid COJEC - one of the most intense chemotherapy regimes in modern medicine. However, Charlie did really well and had minimal problems - the Doctors were amazed.
“His surgery was the longest six hours of our lives”
Next he had surgery to remove the primary tumour in his tummy, it took six hours but he recovered well and 12 days later he started the hardest part of his treatment - a stem cell transplant.
Charlie became very poorly during this phase of treatment. He suffered with VOD, a life threatening liver complication, which delayed his recovery. He spent nine weeks in isolation, which was very tough on the whole family as they were split up for such a long time!
Super Charlie really is an amazing little boy. He has coped so well with everything that has been thrown at him, even managing to raise a hand for a high-five with the nurses when lying on the bed in pain. Even when he is at his worst, he never stops smiling!
Charlie is a true superhero!
He is now undergoing a European trial called immunotherapy to try to prevent his cancer from taking hold again. There are lots of side effects to this treatment, the main one being nerve pain, but thankfully Charlie has been given a lot of pain killers to help.
A recent scan has confirmed that there is no evidence of neuroblastoma in his body now, which is great news!
Charlie’s immunotherapy will continue until December, and then his radiotherapy will start in the early part of 2017.
Before Charlie was diagnosed, Mum was a nurse. When Charlie started his treatment, she had to give this up to care for him full time so the family income was drastically reduced.
Charlie’s family have spent the last year surviving on dad’s income, but now they are feeling the financial strain without mum’s income too.
Childhood cancer costs families an additional £600 every month*
On 13th May 2015, Kimberley's family heard the words that no family wants to hear; it is cancer.
At the time Kim was 13 and had been experiencing pain in her calf. She was referred to the hospital to have a scan and only a few hours later her mother, Kellie, received a phone call to say that Kim had a tumour.
Kellie said that she feared it was cancerous from the very moment they mentioned the word tumour. Her father on the other hand tried to reassure her that life wouldn't be that cruel.
After more tests, scans, x-rays, blood tests, biopsies, and lots of anxious waiting, Kim was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma - an extremely rare form of bone cancer in children. In fact this particular type of cancer only affects 30 children per year in the UK.
Kim needed extremely intensive and aggressive chemotherapy with, what her oncologist say, were one of the most horrendous cocktails of drugs there are. This caused severe mucositis, burning in her hands and feet, the inability to walk at times and ulcers in her mouth and digestive system. The ulcers caused extreme pain and discomfort, so that she was unable to eat or drink. Like all chemo patients, Kim also experienced the nausea, vomiting, tiredness, weakness and hair loss, spending the majority of this year within the confinements of a hospital bed, away from her friends and family, including two young sisters who are six and three.
Even after enduring all of those side effects for a period of four months, her consultants discovered that the tumour, although reduced in size, had wrapped itself around the neuro-vascular bundle within her leg. The difficult decision was made to amputate Kim’s leg to save her life. She underwent surgery just three weeks after her 14th birthday and spent the following week gaining strength so that she could go home with her family.
How You Can Help
Now Kim would love a life-like silicon leg with an electric knee - which is not available on the NHS. She also dreams of having a prosthetic blade so that she can get back to doing the sports she enjoyed doing before she was diagnosed, and possibly one day be a Paralympian!
A life-like leg with electronic knee will cost approximately £60,000, and running blades are around £10,000. Kim’s family and friends have raised around £40,000 and now, with your help, we’re hoping to contribute towards to the remaining amount needed.
Kim has remained positive throughout her treatment and shown such a strength of character for someone of such a young age. With your help, we really hope to help Kim achieve her dream!
Shannon is ten years old and was diagnosed with leukaemia on 7th November 2015.
Shannon developed a purple prickly rash on her legs as well as lots of little bruises all over. She was taken to a local minor injuries unit where the nurse arranged for her to see a GP that afternoon. The GP sent her to A&E for blood tests where it was discovered that Shannon had leukaemia.
Shannon's mum told us...
"I literally fell to pieces, but it was game on being strong for Shannon so she had no idea how scared we were. It was such a daunting time it felt like I was having an out of body experience looking at another family going through this. Hearing about the 2 years treatment plan was so scary and yet hopeful at the same time. Shannon was so poorly and needed antibiotics, blood product transfusions, plus lots of chemotherapy and bone marrow aspirations. This was a whole new world. Life was turned upside down for our while family.
It was very hard telling Shannon she had cancer because my mum is terminally ill with cancer and the kids know this. We knew she would be scared she was going to die. We explained that it was different and could be treated. We also had to tell her that her hair would fall out too, which it did after just two weeks!
Shannon is often unwell and has spent a lot of time in her shared care hospital for blood products. This has been very hard on her twin sister, Isobel, and her older brother, Justin.
It's very hard for Shannon but she remains strong and spirited. She has lots of walking issues now which we hope will go after chemotherapy."
How We Are Helping
Shannon’s mum can’t work while Shannon is receiving her treatment. We are helping with financial assistance to cover the unexpected costs that come with childhood cancer, including expenses like hospital car parking costs, food in the hospital café/restaurant, plus increased heating and electricity bills while Shannon is off school, because her warmth and comfort is paramount.
Click here to find out how you can raise funds to help.