Charlotte is determined that life goes on as normal
The hardest thing to comprehend at the time was that she had been a normal teenager the day before. She is a very sporty girl and is in all the school teams and plays football for a local league team. Now here she was wired up to drips and fighting for her life. Her words to one of the doctors that first day at the Marsden were very poignant. ‘I am now running the race of my life, and I will win.’ What fighting talk that was and that is how she has handled each day since. She insisted our family life must continue as normal, or ‘we would be giving in to cancer.’
Charlotte is so determined that life goes on as normal. Even when her mouth is so full of ulcers and she can hardy swallow, she still gets up and, as she says, fights the cancer. She has suffered from terrible muscle and leg pain from the intensive chemo drugs. And, as a teenager, one of the hardest things for her to come to terms with was losing her hair twice. But she has never given in and drags herself to school so she is not giving in to the cancer. She has even completed three GCSE exams a year early.
Charlotte truly is an inspiration to all and her grit and determination get her through each day. Yes, she does have some down moments, but these are short lived and she is determined that she will live life to the full each day. We have all learnt a new language of blood terminology and drug names, but the support we have had from family, friends and the medical profession has been brilliant in getting us through each day. Charlotte’s school has been so supportive to both her and her sister. It seems a long time since that dark August night – but we are hopeful of the day, this November, when she will have beaten her leukaemia.
Charlotte is now 15. We are truly thankful to the support we have been given. If Charlotte’s story can be an inspiration to others, we feel we will have helped. ‘Beating it’ is how Charlotte ends each day – a remarkable girl. I know I am biased as her mother, but she truly is an inspiration.