Children With Cancer Fund
Children With Cancer Fund
Children With Cancer Fund (Polegate)
5 Western Avenue, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 6EP Tel: 01323 488561 Registered Charity No.1110644

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Katherine’s Story


Katherine Jones, 16, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2003, just 2 months after her Mum, Anna, started treatment for Breast Cancer. Kat underwent emergency surgery, followed up with Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, finally finishing treatment 7 months later. Katherine has two younger sisters Ruby and Alice.

Katherine's story

We had just come back from our summer holiday in France and I was looking forward to seeing my friends at school again. I had been feeling a bit tired and dizzy sometimes recently but thought maybe I was a bit under the weather and that I would feel better once I got back into the school routine.

My Mum had been going to the hospital for some tests and then our whole world was turned upside down when she came home one afternoon with Dad and told us she had Breast Cancer. Mum told us not to worry, and that the hospital would give her some treatment and hopefully she would get better.

I started my new term at school, but still felt ill, and did not want to worry Mum. I then started to have minor fits at school, (nearly always in my maths lesson.... which I hate!) and the doctor referred us to a consultant who diagnosed mild epilepsy.

Then on Christmas Eve I had a really bad fit and was admitted to hospital for three days, Mum had just had some Chemotherapy and things were pretty grim. A routine scan for epilepsy after Christmas revealed that I had a brain tumour and that I needed to have surgery immediately. Mum and Dad took me up to Kings College Hospital in London the next day, where we met the neurosurgeon who was lovely, and made us all feel better about what was ahead. Mum had just had more Chemotherapy so they found her a bed in the Ronald McDonald house nearby. The surgery went well, and they managed to get most of the tumour out, but because it was cancerous I would need to have further treatment of Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy...................the same as Mum! We could not believe this was happening!

Chemotherapy started and was awful. I had to have a Hickman line, which was uncomfortable and hurt sometimes, all my hair fell out, I felt very sick and grumpy! However Mum knew exactly how I felt and that helped a lot. If I shouted at her because I felt moody she would just shout right back! And if I felt sick or sad she would understand that too.

I found it hard losing my hair, but I had always wanted long black hair and Mum and I found a fantastic wig, which looked great! We had wonderful support from the hospital, especially from the CLIC/Sargent team. Later both Mum and I had radiotherapy together, that was not so bad but we had to travel up to the Royal Marsden everyday for 6 weeks and the weather was really hot. Mum and I finished our treatment in August and managed to go camping soon afterwards, it was a good way to celebrate the finish of our treatment.

During treatment I tried to do the things I would do normally, I love singing and I am in a band, I managed to do some live‘gigs’and took part in a musical at a local theatre. In September I went back to school part time and had a home tutor to help me a bit at home.

This year I have managed to take a few GCSE’s and I have a place at a Music College here in Brighton in October, which is really exciting.
Katherine and Mum Anna
Katherine with her Mum Anna

Both Mum and I are now doing well. It has not always been easy, and I still have some after affects of the treatment and illness. When this happens I try not to let it get me down and do something I enjoy to cheer me up, such as art or singing and song writing, and of course I like to party as much as possible! Although I feel angry sometimes that this terrible disease has affected our family, I then think of the positive things that have come out of it, like the wonderful people we have met and who have been so kind to us.

Mum heard about CWCF through our social worker at the hospital, we enjoy reading the news letter and would like to say thank you as they have recently helped us with funding for my study at Music college.

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