Newsletter Signup x

Patient Story -Jacob

For no apparent reason four year old Jacob’s legs started hurting. He was eventually diagnosed with leukaemia.

Over three years on, mum Louise tells their story

Jacob’s legs started hurting

Jacob was just four years old when one day he started limping and saying his legs hurt.

Thinking he’d probably hurt his leg at football club, I left it a week or so before taking him to the doctor.

Three doctors before a blood test

Hopefully in the future there will be quicker diagnoses of childhood leukaemias!The first doctor said it was growing pains. I didn’t believe this since growing pains are worse at night and don’t cause a limp.

Two days later and the second doctor said ‘it was nothing serious’. A week later we saw a third doctor who finally ordered a blood test to take place three days later. Bloods were done on the Friday and I was called on the Monday to urgently come to the doctor’s.

Finally, the heart-breaking diagnosis

His blood results were abnormal and we were sent to A&E for more blood tests. Eventually we were taken aside and given the news he had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

It was heart-breaking to see him sat playing happily on the bed like there was nothing wrong with him at all.

A little boy sitting in a car

Transferred to hospital for treatment

We were transferred to a specialist hospital and stayed for nearly two weeks. The first stage of treatment was tough and the steroids made him depressed and not want to do anything.

He didn’t smile for weeks and it was really hard to see your child become a zombie. His muscles became weak and he had to learn to walk again.

Small child wearing sunglasses

Eight months of intensive treatment

It was months before he could walk properly again. He still went to school part-time, even when he wasn’t feeling too good because of the chemo.

After eight months of intensive treatment, and a lot of ups and downs, he started maintenance chemotherapy treatment.

Disneyland Paris Mickey Mouse with jacob and family

Two years of maintenance chemo

This is to stop the leukaemia coming back. It lasted two and a half years. He got back to a relatively normal life, going to school full-time. And we were allowed to go on holiday.

He had four hospital visits every 12 weeks, and weekly blood tests.

Jacob with medal at school sport event

Chemo finished in October 2015

He finally finished treatment in October 2015. We have now lost the chemotherapy safety net. We have to hope his body can recover and the leukaemia won’t come back.

He has been amazing throughout and is doing really well at school. I am very proud of both him and his three siblings who have also been through a lot over the last three and a half years.

one girl three boys

Better diagnosis for leukaemia

I would like to hope that our experience of not being taken seriously by the doctors won’t happen again. But it is all too common. Doctors need to be aware of all the symptoms of leukaemia, not just infections and bruising which Jacob didn’t have. Hopefully in the future there will be quicker diagnoses of childhood leukaemias!”

Louise, December 2016

Treatments Side effects of treatments Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Understanding the genetics of paediatric glioblastoma

International collaboration is often the best way to approach difficult research problems, and this is how we’re searching ...

Read more

Get Involved Stories – Grimme take to their saddles

The 15 part-time cyclists embarked on a challenge generally reserved for professionals – they aimed to cycle approximately ...

Read more

Patient Story – Elin

Elin was having terrible seizures for two years before she was finally diagnosed with a brain tumour. She ...

Read more
Newsletter icon

Know someone who might be interested in this article?

Email this page to a friend!