Rossi S

07 July 2016

Story written 2016

Rossi was diagnosed with ALL on Friday 21st March 2014 when he was 4 years old. He was always a happy, bright and smiley little boy, but for some time he’d been backwards and forwards to the doctors and hospital with unexplained illnesses, fevers and always feeling tired.

Even when we found a lump in his groin they gave us different types of antibiotics, convinced it was just his lymph glands. The crunch came when he was in extreme pain for 10 hours, nothing would help and then he just couldn’t walk or move. We got rushed in for a biopsy and got the devastating news the next morning.

Throughout all of this my little hero never stopped laughing or smiling and making other people happy. He is forever thinking of how to help others and is always making people laugh on the ward with his cheeky grin and infectious laugh. He always wants to take things in for the other children to cheer them up like a present or a cake. I’m so proud of his strength and courage despite his daily struggles.

Our end of treatment date is 20th May 2017 and can’t come soon enough

Update 15th February 2017

Rossi has been really poorly for the last few weeks and had a week in hospital with a line infection. He’s lost a lot of weight because he won’t eat anymore so he’s also just had a nose tube fitted.

We are so close to end of treatment. 20th may will hopefully bring the good news we are waiting for.

Rossi absolutely loves getting his post and It really does lift his spirits and make him feel special.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to write to him.

Thanks for all your hard work x

Update 18th August 2016

A huge thanks to everyone who has sent mail to Rossi it really does cheer him up. We’ve had a few visits to hospital, a nasty bug and a blood transfusion but other than that he’s doing really well at the moment and looking forward to going back to school and seeing his friends.

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Harrison K

07 July 2016

Story written 2016

Harrison was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in October 2015, a day after his 3rd birthday. A few days before his birthday Harrison’s nursery spotted something odd about him, he looked very yellow. We took him to the emergency doctors who told us he was just anaemic and to see our normal GP. A few days later at an appointment, his GP wasn’t happy and sent us to A&E, where they took bloods, did x-ray and CT scans. Later that day we were informed he had leukaemia, but due to low blood levels he had to have two blood transfusions later that night.

We were meant to celebrate his birthday on the Saturday, but due to Harrison being ill he was in our local hospital for a few days, until a bed was available at Great Ormond Street Hospital.  We were then told what type of leukaemia he had and how they would go about treatment.

It was a total shock that our son was ill. We had to explain to his older siblings that Harrison’s blood wasn’t working properly, so it was making him poorly. Harrison has now just started maintenance, so still has another 2 years and 4 months of treatment to go. With Harrison being a lively boy he has taken it all in his stride. Luckily we haven’t had many overnight stays in hospital, but at the end of May he caught a bacteria which is not very common. He spent five days in hospital, then the next six days going twice daily to make sure his cultures stayed negative.

He has missed a lot, not seeing his friends or being able to go out for the day, as sometimes he would be neutropenic, so was at risk of infections. His older siblings have also missed days out and holidays, like during June half term when Harrison was in hospital. Harrison is just a cheeky little chappy and always smiling.

Update 17th October 2017

Harrison is doing well, hospital are happy how he is responding to treatment. But as of late he is struggling with aches and pains in his body now.

Update 5th January 2017

Harrison has been doing well, but has had a few hospital stays because of infections.

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Felix B

07 July 2016

Story written 2016

Felix was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in January 2016.  It came out of the blue.  Felix was an energetic, sport-loving, football-mad 10-year-old boy who that week had been on a school residential trip.  Before we knew it he was launched into a world of cancer, chemotherapy and hospitals.

Felix‘s diagnosis means that his life has changed irrevocably.  His treatment will last 3 years and 3 months; when he finishes treatment he will be 13 years old and we have no idea what the long term effects might be.  Felix spends a lot of time in hospital, he can’t attend school and all social activities have ceased.  The most upsetting thing for him is that he cannot play football or sport.  We don’t know for how long, but this is the thing he misses the most.

Life for Felix now involves daily chemotherapy.  Some chemotherapies he can take at home, or the community nurse visits us, or he has to go into hospital sometimes for up to 5 days.  He has to have regular blood tests, take daily medication for sickness and to prevent infection, regularly monitor his temperature and do mouthwashes to avoid ulcers.  There is no control over any of the treatment, which has meant he was in hospital over Easter, he missed his best friend’s birthday party and we cannot plan any holidays.

Despite all of this he never complains.  His little brother asked him the other day what it felt like to have cancer and he replied “it’s just normal”.  He knows he is different to his friends now.  He cannot fool around with them, he has to be careful in case his port, which was surgically placed in his chest for IV access, is knocked.  He can’t even eat the same foods as his friends any more.  To him though he has just adjusted and lives life a bit differently.

Felix does kick a ball around in the garden with his brother and he loves going to watch the mighty cherries, his beloved AFC Bournemouth.  He chills out playing XBox or watching his favourite YouTubers, Spencer FC and Oli White – he idolises these YouTubers!  He is a keen Eastenders fan and his all time favourite TV programme is ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’!  He is one of the kindest, most thoughtful boys who would do anything to help others.  He said the other day that he can’t wait to be an adult so that he can help other kids, like people have helped him.

Being a Post Pal would help Felix by giving him something to look forward to.  This is the key to keeping him positive and looking to the future.

Update 5th January 2016

As Felix has now returned to school and is now on the less intense part of his treatment, he would like to let another child have the opportunity of becoming a Post Pal, as would Talia and Rufus.

We would like to thank you for you love and support. Post Pals made a very difficult time for us, far easier to cope with and for this we are grateful.

Update 6th October 2016

Felix is now in the maintenance phase of chemotherapy treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. The phase will last until 2019. He continues to take chemotherapy tablets daily, up to 21 tablets a day, have weekly blood tests and regular clinic appointments. He continues to have a restricted diet and precautions still need to be in place because of his suppressed immunity. On the whole, life is much better for Felix and his siblings now that the intense phase of treatment has finished. He is attending school regularly and is back playing football which means the world to him. Rufus loves having his big brother back and going to school and alongside Talia are back to usual sibling stuff. We would all like to thank Post Pals for their continued support. There are still tough days and I don’t how you do it, but you can guarantee when things are a bit tough, something will come through the post from Post Pals and perk us all up.

Update 16th August 2016

Post Pals is working tremendously for Felix, Rufus and Talia and truly uplifting their spirits, making them feel special and bringing a smile to their faces.

Felix has just finished the first part of Delayed intensification which involved an intense period of steroids, chemo and unfortunately an unexpected stay in hospital.  We are hoping that he will start the last two weeks of this phase of treatment, depending on his blood counts tomorrow.  The side effects of this phase have seen mood changes, weight gain, total hair loss for the first time and weak legs.  These will gradually subside.

I want to thank you and all your wonderful volunteers for helping Felix cope with this intense treatment whilst acknowledging the effect it has had on his brother and sisters.  For those Post Pals who have provided addresses he has written letters which we hope will be posted this week.  If we have omitted anyone we really do apologise.  Sometimes, it is quite chaotic and I can’t always keep track of when and where they open the post!  They are always so excited.

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