This September, Blood Cancer Awareness month and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month have joined forces to campaign for an increase in awareness of childhood leukaemia.
More than 460 children in the UK are diagnosed with leukaemia every year, so we’re learning this month about how to spot symptoms, how to support families, how to join the campaign and how leukaemia has affected children like Adam.
“I first knew something wasn’t quite right when Adam came home from school covered in bruises. My gut instinct told me that they weren’t just from kids being kids in the playground.” Jo Price, Mum of Adam.
Despite being advised by NHS Direct to take Adam to A&E, Jo and her husband, Jeff, still weren’t overly concerned. Meningitis was ruled out at the hospital, but after several tests, a diagnosis of T-ALL was given an hour and a half later and Adam was rushed to Alder Hey hospital to begin treatment. Adam underwent intensive chemotherapy for three and a half years, which ended in April 2013. He is now in remission but has check-ups on his blood counts every three months.
“We didn’t know anything about blood cancers until Adam was diagnosed, so the symptoms Adam was experiencing didn’t immediately make us think ‘leukaemia’. I guess you always think it would never happen to you or your children. If it wasn’t for the quick actions of the medical staff and the swift diagnosis, things could have been a completely different story. We are testament to the fact that early diagnosis can save lives and more needs to be done around raising awareness of this type of cancer.”
Symptoms of blood cancers are vague and can be difficult to spot but Leukaemia CARE have provided a simple TEST to help.
- T – iredness and exhaustion
- E – xcessive sweating
- S – sore bones and joints
- T – errible bruising and unusual bleeding
Leukaemia CARE offers a range of support for families as they understand the idea of your child being diagnosed with leukaemia is unthinkable, distressing and highly emotional. The support network provides information and guides on how to deal with the situation, providing nutritional advice, learning from others stories and most of all, just being there