Patient stories

Finding out that your child has cancer can be the start of an uncertain and difficult time for families.
 
To try and help, a number of families have kindly shared their very personal experiences with us.

Share your story

If your child has been affected by cancer and you would like to share your story, we'd be keen to hear from you.

Your story can help others, raise awareness of childhood cancer or inspire people to support our work.

Please call us on 020 7404 0808, send us an email or write to us at Children with Cancer UK, 51 Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JQ with your details. Thank you.

Justin

27 March 2017
Justin and cat
Five year old Justin’s feet had been hurting, but the x-rays showed nothing. One night he started screaming with pain. Here is an extract from his mum, Katie's, blog as she finds out Justin has leukaemia:

January 16, 2016: the screaming started “We said goodnight to friends and I began to clean up the kitchen. My mind was troubled. Why wasn’t Justin playing with the other kids? I had taken him to see three different doctors and had two set of x-rays done, yet he still complained that his feet hurt. I had put him to bed earlier with a dose of children’s ibuprofen. A loud, frantic scream broke my thoughts. I froze and then another. I aband...
read Justin's story

Dominic

21 March 2017
Dominic in playground
Dominic was only four months old when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2010. Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive form of brain tumour with an exceptionally poor outlook. His mum, Ann, tells us their story:

“Dominic was unwell when he was seven weeks old - crying a lot, being sick and his temperature kept dropping. He wasn’t himself at all. They thought he had meningitis We took him to A&E and the doctor thought it was meningitis. They kept him in and after a week he seemed well and they sent him home. When he was nearly four months old we were sent to a specialist children’s hospital where they did two MRI scans. They had noticed a s...
read Dominic's story

Abigail

12 February 2017
Abigail as an adult

Abigail is now 19 years old – she was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was two -  and she tells us her story: “17 years ago I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), I was two and half years old.  Four weeks later, after my first blast of intense chemotherapy, I went into remission. I then spent three years going through chemotherapy until I had the final all-clear that the cancer cells had gone. I lost my hair within four weeks of starting treatment and pretty much spent the majority of my childhood in hospital. Many people say to me 'I bet you can't remember it now', but sadly I do remember a lot of it. I still have to...
read Abigail's story

Albie

31 January 2017
Albie and sister
Albie was eight months old when he was diagnosed with Wilms' tumour, a type of kidney Cancer. His mum, Lorna, tells their story:

“On Saturday 22nd October 2016 my husband and I were enjoying a rare weekend away in London to celebrate my 30th Birthday. We received a worrying call from my mum late in the afternoon. She had noticed a lump in Albie’s stomach when changing his nappy. As a precaution my dad had taken him to our local A&E to get checked over. The moment the doctor took us into a separate consulting room we knew our lives were about to change for ever.My husband and I immediately jumped in a taxi from London for what felt like the...
read Albie's story

Isaac

30 January 2017
Isaac holding his swimming certificate
Isaac had been suffering from backache since being at the athletics track in December 2015 - and it didn't seem to be improving. Isaac's mum Liz reflects on the year that followed. Reflections on the last year As we move through January 2017, every day I am mindful of the date. That is because so many of the days have very vivid memories from 2016 associated with them, as they led up to what has been our journey this last year.  My son Isaac had been suffering from backache since being at the athletics track in December and it didn't seem to be improving. He generally seemed under the weather but kept going, playing football for his team, ... read Isaac's story

Jacob

08 January 2017
Jacob with medal
For no apparent reason four year old Jacob’s legs started hurting. He was eventually diagnosed with leukaemia. Over three years on, mum Louise tells their story: Jacob’s legs started hurting "Jacob was just four years old when one day he started limping and saying his legs hurt. Thinking he’d probably hurt his leg at football club, I left it a week or so before taking him to the doctor. Three doctors before a blood test Hopefully in the future there will be quicker diagnoses of childhood leukaemias!The first doctor said it was growing pains. I didn't believe this since growing pains are worse at night and don't cause a limp. Two days la... read Jacob's story

Dylan C

13 July 2016
Dylan with dolphin
Eight year old Dylan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in January 2015. He is still undergoing treatment. His mum, Lorraine, tells their story so far:

"Dylan was having high temperatures in the evenings. When we took him to the doctor’s, during the day, they could never find anything wrong apart from swollen glands. They gave him a course of antibiotics, but the temperatures continued. Dylan wasn’t himself Dylan wasn’t himself - I knew something was wrong. Rather than join his brothers playing, he preferred to snuggle on the sofa with me. When we noticed that Dylan had a swollen wrist my husband and I decided to tak...
read Dylan C's story

Elliott's story

17 May 2016
Elliott in a sunny garden
When Elliott was 16 he developed an abnormal swelling on his leg. It was diagnosed as a rare type of soft tissue cancer. Elliott is now 19 and fighting the cancer for the third time. He tells us his story so far:

“It was 2013 and I was 16. I had a very abnormal swelling on my leg that wouldn’t go away and was getting bigger and bigger. I eventually got a referral to see a specialist. I had a biopsy, an X-ray and an MRI scan. I got told very quickly that there was something very worrying going on and I was sent to see an oncologist. Very bad news: alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma I was given the very bad news that I had alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma ...
read Elliott's story's story

Sam

14 April 2016
Sam and family at the Grand Pier day out
Five year old Sam was having terrible pains in his neck and hip. Weeks later, and after many tests, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. His mum, Tamsin, tells their story so far:

"In the weeks leading up to his diagnosis, Sam had been unusually tired. He was asking to drive places, rather than walk. He had also been struggling in his swimming lessons and was complaining of a sore neck. Doctor prescribes pain killers and physiotherapy This time the doctor suggested referring Sam for physiotherapy. At that stage it seemed a logical thing to do.The doctor initially thought Sam had a trapped nerve in his neck and suggested pai...
read Sam's story

Bella-Rose

07 April 2016
Bella-Rose
Bella-Rose was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was three years old. After over a year of treatment Bella has suffered a relapse. Her mum, Abbie, tells their story:

“I am writing our story whilst sitting in our hospital room. I have been here for a month with my four year old girl, Bella-Rose. Bella was being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and has relapsed. She had a year left of treatment. She was doing so well at nursery and had just started to really enjoy life again when we were given this devastating news. We had just started to enjoy the little things again It broke me to my soul. But she came through...
read Bella-Rose's story

Where your money goes

Hover over a segment for details

NCRI AMRC