Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the UK. A subject very close to my heart as I watched my beloved cousin be diagnosed on his second birthday and again as a teenager before passing away at the age of seventeen.
George was 14 months old when his mum died five days before her 30th birthday. Then on his second birthday he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a childhood cancer that develops in bone, muscle or cartilage. George had treatment and went into remission. But the cancer returned and he was given less than 5 per cent chance of surviving. Somehow, this amazing little boy managed to defy all the odds and for a while the disease went away. There were many scares throughout the years but George grew to be a healthy, strong, fit and lovable young boy. A case of skin cancer was found and treated when he was 15 years old. Then came the bombshell that changed our world forever. George was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the jaw when he was 15 years old.
George died on 25th April 2011 on my 22nd birthday and just three months before his 18th birthday. He was a happy, vibrant, loving boy who filled our family with so much love and joy despite everything the cancer brought with it. His illness, his life and his death has had a huge impact on me and the way I live my own life. In those days where the grief hits me it is the voluntary work with charities like Children with Cancer UK that push me through the anger and the sadness. By helping others I am keeping his memory alive and this is very important to me.