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Suki's story

Suki was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in January 2017 when she was just four years old.  Her mum Rachel tells their story so far:

We knew something was wrong

In the few months prior to Suki’s diagnosis we were desperately concerned about her health. The more the GP turned us away, telling us it was ‘just a virus’, the more we looked into things ourselves and looked back at signs of when she started deteriorating.

Not knowing what to do and feeling utterly helpless, I rang our hospital in desperation. They agreed to see us the next day. When the paediatrician uttered the words “I’m sorry, it’s not good news, your daughter has leukaemia”, my response was “I know”. I was so completely convinced what was wrong I had bags packed in the car in preparation we would be admitted.

 

Intense treatment begins

No one ever dreams of being told the terrifying words, your child has cancer. However, strangely that day there was a form of relief knowing that someone was finally listening to us and offering to help our very poorly little girl.

The first eight months were particularly tough, with regular high dose chemotherapy, blood and platelet transfusions, contracting viruses and infections; there were many admissions and hospital stays. Suki suffered numerous side effects from the various stages of treatment and due to her suppressed immunity she could face a hospital admission at any time.

Her size and shape drastically changed as a direct result of her chemotherapy treatment. Her steroid medication caused her weight to balloon, yet the daily chemotherapy meant she experienced constant nausea and has suffered from much vomiting as a result of all the treatment, which at times caused rapid weight loss. She lost all her hair and her skin became pale and sensitive.

 

Maintenance treatment hasn’t been without complications

She reached the maintenance stage of treatment at the end of the Summer 2017, this felt like a huge milestone. But the next few years haven’t been without drama, including spending Christmas and birthdays in hospital. Suki continued to suffer with daily nausea, had problems with her eyesight and multiple verrucae all over her feet, all of which required additional forms of treatment.

Despite a particularly hard few years, Suki remains so positive and full of life. She officially finished her treatment last month, and while there are still regular check ups and medication to take it has been another huge milestone to reach.

                          

Suki has taught us to never take life for granted

It is incredible to see her gaining strength week on week now. To see her enjoying herself; happier, stronger, more colour in her cheeks and an appetite returning. It is heart warming to see the child you remember shining through more and more. It’s been a tough road and one thing is for sure we will never take anything for granted again, for no-one truly knows what tomorrow holds.

Rachel, June 2019

Blog

If you want to stay up to date with Suki’s story, visit Rachel’s blog. Click here

End of Treatment Bells are placed into hospitals for children and adults with cancer to ring after their gruelling treatment.

On 9 August 2019, Suki rang the End of Treatment Bell, surrounded by her family, friends and the staff who supported her during her long spells in hospital with gruelling chemotherapy sessions, viruses, losing her hair and fluctuating drastically in weight. Watch the video to find out more.

How you can help

If you’ve been touched by Suki’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.