Cancer should never get in the way of a child’s future. Sadly, 2 out of 3 childhood cancer survivors will experience lifelong side effects because of their cancer or its treatment. This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, you can set up a regular gift, which will help fund research into developing less harmful treatments so that every child with cancer not only survives but can also grow up happy and healthy.
Cancer treatments are developed to target cancer cells and kill them. Unfortunately, they often also impact normal healthy cells in the body which can cause debilitating side effects for young patients. Sadly, 2 out of 3 childhood cancer survivors will be affected by the long-term side effects caused by their cancer or its treatment.
These long-term effects are known as late effects and whilst they will vary from individual to individual, they can include heart conditions, lung damage, cognitive impairment, as well as emotional and mental health issues.
Every child should get to enjoy growing up without suffering from the late effects of their treatment. That is why research into developing kinder and safer treatments, specifically tailored to treating childhood cancer without damaging children’s growing bodies is urgently needed.
This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, your donation will help fund vital research like this so that every child with cancer not only survives but can grow up happy and healthy. We receive no government funding, meaning without generous supporters like you, research like this may not be possible. Thank you.
I’ll never forget the moment I asked Jack’s doctor, ‘You’ve found something, haven’t you?’ – and my worst fears were confirmed.
Jack was just six years old when he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma. I’d suspected something was seriously wrong for a while, but I started to seriously worry when he suddenly couldn’t walk in a straight line on our way to the shops one day. We saw our GP and she was very concerned about this symptom. We went to our local hospital immediately and Jack was kept overnight for observation and had an MRI the next day. I desperately wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything was going to be ok.
After Jack’s first scan, they discovered a tumour the size of a cricket ball between Jack’s skull and the top of his spine. Jack went into surgery straight away, and that’s when I broke down and started crying. The last thing he said to me before going under was: “I want to go home”. I wouldn’t hear him say another word for seven weeks.
Although Jack’s surgery went fine, he lost the ability to speak afterwards. He became really frustrated and could only manage a growl to show he wasn’t happy or didn’t like something. I had to pick up signs on what he was trying to say.
Jack has been having radiotherapy five days a week and will start chemotherapy once this course is complete. He still has mobility issues and can’t currently stand on his own, so he needs to use a wheelchair. As a result of his treatment, one side of his face is frozen, and he also has a permanent scar on his head.
It breaks my heart that any child should have to face cancer, and possibly miss out on the type of life they deserve. By donating this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month today, you can help us make a difference.
Suzanna, Jack’s mum
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