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



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Lauren’s Story


Lauren

Ursula & I (Chris) were lucky enough to know Julie, John, Lauren & Charlie before Lauren was diagnosed with cancer as our youngest daughter was a best mate with Lauren at nursery. So you can imagine how frightening it was when we found out that she had cancer. All of a sudden CWCF had a new purpose for us.

They are such a lovely family and we are glad that with your support we have been able to help them. Below is Lauren’s story that Julie wrote and some photos for you to see the smile that we all know Lauren for.



Dear Chris and Ursula

Probably not the best time to write this as I’m sitting here the night before Lauren’s operation in St George’s hospital, but when you asked me to write Lauren’s story for the website, I thought it might be therapeutic and help me get through tomorrow.

Lauren was finally diagnosed with a type of cancer called neuroblastoma (tumour) in May this year (2007) after being poorly for about 8 months. Because the only discrepancy in her blood results was that she was anaemic, doctors dismissed me when I had asked if there was any chance it could be cancer. Anyway, once she was diagnosed our feet didn’t touch the ground.


We were taken to Royal Marsden (or the Royal Mars Bar as Lauren calls it) by ambulance and within days all the relevant tests were done and she’d had a Hickman line fitted at "Uncle George’s hospital" ready for chemo. Over the next couple of weeks, as all the test results returned, we were relieved to hear Lauren’s tumour was localised, non aggressive and had not spread to other areas of her body or into her bone marrow. Then five months of chemotherapy started, intermingled with occasional visits to "Hotel Friston" at Eastbourne DGH with temperatures and regular home visits from our wonderful Community nurses Lucy and Louise.

It has amazed me how children adapt to things that they have to go through. For John and I, our world had been shattered. "Why did this happen to us?", but seeing Lauren and all the other brave children at Royal Marsden not giving up, it makes you feel a little ashamed to be feeling sorry for yourself. I’ve learnt you have to look for the positives that may appear in each day (although at times they may be difficult to find).

Lauren is now an expert on blood results, drip machines, she can do her own blood pressure and temperature along with so much more and she’s only 5! (She’s going to be a doctor when she grows up, I just know it). Although we haven’t been able to see many other child friends because of the risk of infections, Lauren has so many adult friends at different hospitals now, that we have seen her develop in her own confidence when dealing with adults and children alike.

We were lucky enough to know you both before Lauren was ill but did not quite realise what you did for children with cancer. You have helped us with nursery fees for Lauren’s sister Charlotte, given Lauren a Nintendo DS for her birthday, amongst other things and our goal is to be fit and well enough to go to the pantomime the fund has arranged in the middle of our stint of radiotherapy next month. Without your support, in particular my lifeline with Ursula by text message whilst being cocooned in hospital, and along with all our family and friends the past six months would have been a lot tougher.

Anyway, I shall finish this in a few days time with an update on how Lauren’s op went.

Thanks again for all your kindness and support

Julie

Lauren and her mum Julie
Lauren and her mum Julie


Lauren and our Jessica
Lauren and our Jessica


Lauren, Charlotte and Jessica
Lauren, Charlotte and Nurse Jessica


January 2008.

The two days after Lauren’s operation were absolute hell, but after a very large temper tantrum, Lauren was back to normal! The operation went well and she recovered very quickly (as children do). We then had radiotherapy at Royal Marsden for three weeks over Christmas and New Year which finished on January 4th 2008 and Lauren started school with a nice new growth of hair on January 7th.

She is full of energy and enjoying school and (fingers crossed) our next step will be having her hickman line removed in the next couple of months.

Our thanks again for a wonderful time at the pantomime and for the tesco vouchers that helped with running two fridges over Christmas and New Year (one for John and Charlotte at home and one for me and Lauren in the flat in Sutton during Radiotherapy).

All our love and thanks

John, Julie, Lauren and Charlotte.

 





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