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Astrid's story

Astrid was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was three years old.  Her dad Muir shares their story.

Watch the video to see how Astrid is coping in isolation.

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Astrid had bruises on her legs

Astrid had lots of bruises on her legs so we took her to the GP who did a blood test. A couple of days later we were driving out of town to visits friends when the GP called and told us to take her to hospital straight away. In the hospital they did a further blood test and within a couple of hours we knew she had leukaemia.

It was a massive shock for us all.

 

Girl with flower headband sitting on cinema chair

Beginning treatment

The first six months of her treatment were really hard – for her and for the rest of the family. It had a big impact on her physically and emotionally.

She was three years old at the time and I feel like we were lucky with the age at which this happened. She was just old enough to be able to express her feelings and communicate what was troubling her, but not so old that she really understood what was happening. It didn’t bother her at all when her hair fell out, but if that happened now, just 18 months later, she’d be really upset.

Girl in navy jumper with no hair

Knowing we’re in safe hands

We knew very little about leukaemia at the time – for example we didn’t know that 98 to 99% of children recover to full health. So we had to learn a lot of scary things but it wasn’t all bad news and so much of what we learnt from doctors and nurses really helped us cope with it all. The general atmosphere during her treatment has been very reassuring. Everyone has given off an air of confidence and capability that has helped us to understand that we’re in safe hands.

Boy carrying girl in field

Astrid appears to be a totally healthy child now

Astrid is on maintenance treatment now. For anyone who met her without knowing this, they would never guess she’s been ill or taking chemotherapy medicine. She’s totally healthy and I’m very lucky to say that she’s the happiest person I know. She’s always smiling and laughing, wanting cuddles and telling me she loves me.

Girl with red camera

Thanks to charities like Children with Cancer UK

We’ve had a lot of help from charities such as Children with Cancer UK and that’s been a great help too. To have people contact you out of the blue offering to do special things for our daughter and for us is a really lovely thing. So my final thought is thank you very much for what you do for us. It’s made Astrid and ourselves very happy.

Girl with bunny jumper and toy in field

How you can help

If you’ve been touched by Astrid’s journey, help us invest in the high quality research that really matters which would otherwise go unfunded.

This helps to support children with cancer so they can be with their families for longer.

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Have you or a family member been affected by childhood cancer?

Many of our supporters have been affected by childhood cancer – either through family, friends or their own personal experience. These patient stories can help inspire others to get involved with us, or can support our media work.

If you have a story that you would like to tell, please contact us by email.

 

Watch the video: being in isolation as a child with cancer

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Astrid is not allowed outside. But that doesn’t stop her staying positive and having fun.