2019 was the worst year imaginable for our family.
In February, my 6 year old daughter was
devastatingly diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer.
The news of her diagnosis hit us all really hard
but perhaps none harder than her Gran (my
Mother-in-law) who was almost 3 years into her own battle against this evil and cowardly disease at the time.
She didn’t really have the physical strength to
deal with such a terrible shock and just 3 months later, in May, she tragically passed away.
My wife spent most of April bouncing between
Alder Hey Children’s hospital and her parents’
home. Nursing her daughter undergoing
chemotherapy in hospital or nursing her
terminally ill Mum at the family home.
Nobody should ever have to deal with such a
distressing situation, EVER.
In June we were told that the tumour in Leah’s
abdomen was the size of a grapefruit and
wrapped around her major arteries. The surgical teams from 3 other children’s hospitals in England all advised against surgery to remove it due to her
only having a 10% chance of success without
causing major harm.
In August, the surgical team at Alder Hey
bravely attempted the surgery and successfully
removed 90%+ of the tumour and effectively
saved her life.
She went on to have intensive radiotherapy
after that and she has now completed treatment and is back in school full time.
I don’t know how we would have got through
this year without the incredible support from
our families, friends and local community but also
without the unbelievable support we have
received in various forms from 19 different
charities. Many of these charities have been set up by families wanting to do something positive after sadly losing a child to cancer in the past.
We are fundraising to try and give something
back to each and every one of these charities so they can continue to do amazing things helping
others living through the unthinkable.
Any help you can give to support our efforts are received gratefully, no matter how small. I hope with all my heart that nobody else has to deal
with what we’ve had to deal with, but know if you do, there are lots of inspirational people and
organisations who can help get you through.
- Jen Williams
- John & Julie Edge
- Chris Camilleri