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 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.
My little girl, Sophia, was just two years old when she was put on intensive treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). It was a lot for her small body to take and today, two years on from completing treatment, she is still suffering from its side effects.
Her chemotherapy caused nerve damage and has left her with a persistent tremor in her hands. So the small tasks, like gripping a pen, opening a packet of crisps, or doing up buttons are a struggle for Sophia.
Another procedure caused her to have a major seizure which caused significant damage to her brain. We still aren’t sure of the exact impact of this damage, but we have noticed that she has trouble with her memory sometimes. To monitor this and her other side effects, we will need to take Sophia for check-ups for at least 10 years. It breaks my heart that she although she has already been through so much, the side effects will affect her throughout her childhood.
My Sophia is so resilient, but now that she is at school she has started to notice that she is slightly different to her friends. She can’t write quite like they do, and she struggles in P.E. lessons. I always let her know that taking part and trying her best makes her a winner. I never want her to feel like her side effects are stopping her from achieving anything she wants to.
Please donate this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help fund research into developing less harmful treatments so that children like my Sophia can survive and grow up happy and healthy.
Gemma, Sophia’s mum
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