Our world fell apart
Aimee was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in January 2016 after having bruises and uncontrollable bleeding to her gums – she’d lost teeth in the previous months. We were absolutely devastated when Aimee was diagnosed with AML. Our world fell apart.
Aimee was taken to our local hospital after a rash appeared on her legs. The next morning we were a patient and family of Ward 84 in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH).
Aimee underwent a gruelling course of chemotherapy, blood and platelet transfusions as well as antibiotics when she picked up infections. After six months Aimee achieved remission.
A bone marrow transplant
Unfortunately in September 2016 Aimee relapsed and had to go through more treatment to prepare her for a possible bone marrow transplant the following year. Thankfully Aimee achieved remission again and her transplant was arranged for January 2017. Her transplant ‘cord blood’ came from Australia and the operation went ahead on 24 January 2017. Over the past two years Aimee has been in hospital approximately 18 months, with some visits home when she was well enough.
A complication from the transplant
We were ready to come home in March 2017 but unfortunately Aimee was then diagnosed with Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) which is a complication from the transplant, which made her very poorly. After treatment for this, Aimee was finally able to come home after spending 117 days in hospital. Our family and friends rallied around to support us and help with childcare for Aimee’s little sister Tilly. Aimee’s dad was unable to work during this time so it has had a massive impact on us all, not only mentally but financially too.
Aimee’s message to other children
Aimee loves art, drama and listening to music. She is now thriving at high school and she has lots of support from her school. The school is in touch with us regularly. Aimee continues to be fit and well despite some mild side effects from the chemotherapy such as weak limbs. The doctors have advised that complications from the transplant can happen at any time.
Aimee’s message to any child going through a similar situation is to keep fighting.
Our message to the families is to take it one day at a time, try to remain positive. No matter how hard it gets, you need to be strong for your child. Research into childhood cancers is absolutely vital. We have met so many lovely families on Aimee’s journey who have lost their beautiful children to this terrible disease.
Joanne, mum, March 2018
Update May 2019
Aimee is doing really well both in her health and at school. Considering she missed half of year five and six, her first two years at high school have been fabulous. Her grades, effort and attendance have always been spot on and at a recent parent teacher meeting I was told she was ‘head girl’ material! Her efforts have been awarded with trips abroad to Croatia and she’s off to either France or Italy later in the year.
She’s been recognised as one of the top 10 children in her class for her effort and as a result got to enjoy afternoon tea with her classmates courtesy of her school. Recently Aimee’s Dad walked 21 miles from Coniston in the Lake District to Barrow in Furness raising funds for CCLG. Aimee walked the final three miles alongside him!
Aimee continues to have six monthly oncology appointments and her next one is in June. These are always anxious moments, but they continue to be positive. We’re very much looking forward to a family holiday to Spain in the Summer.
are placed into hospitals for children and adults with cancer to ring after their gruelling treatment.
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