Cancer is a word that provokes considerable emotion. Nobody wants to hear it, especially not in the context of children. Cancer in children is considered to be relatively rare, with around 1,600 diagnoses in the UK each year. But that’s still almost 30 per week! My fundraising challenge is for the family of one of those children with cancer.
My daughter Lana’s best friend is Isabel. Since they first met they’ve been inseparable and have formed an incredible friendship. In March this year, aged two and half, Isabel started to complain of pain in her hips. After an initial misdiagnosis, doctors identified that Isabel had a rare neuroblastoma tumour on the adrenal gland on her kidney. The cancer, which was in an advanced stage (4), had also spread to her bone marrow and additional tumours had formed behind her eyes.
Isabel is under the care of Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and has been placed on a very intensive treatment plan consisting of chemotherapy, surgery, high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell support and radiotherapy. The care she is receiving is great, but this is an extremely hard time for the family as they put all they have into looking after Isabel and supporting her through the treatment.
Isabel and her family are strong. No doubt they have times when it all feels too difficult. But they have no choice other than to keep going and to keep positive. By raising some money, I'm hoping to make their lives just a little bit easier.