Young Lives vs Cancer
H.Samuel is proud to support Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK's leading charity for children and young people with cancer, and their families. We are proud to have raised over £1million to date with the help of our customers.
Today, 12 more children and young people will hear the devastating news that they have cancer.
Young Lives vs Cancer's specialist social workers are there from the moment of diagnosis. They give children and young people with cancer tailored support, helping them to understand what's happening, make decisions about treatment, cope with their anxieties and fears, and stay connected to school or work.
So children and young people with cancer can still be themselves, feel in control of their lives and positive about their future.
Elizabeth Lowrey, Strategic Partnerships Lead at Young Lives Vs Cancer, said: "Young Lives vs Cancer gives children and young people with cancer, and their families, the specialist support they need to thrive. Our social workers step in the minute the doctor says "it's cancer", helping with everything from applying for benefits so they don’t have to worry about money to arranging for families to stay in one of our Homes from Home close to the hospital where they child is having treatment.
For more information on Young Lives vs Cancer visit www.younglivesvscancer.org.uk
Aila was four months old when she was diagnosed with leukaemia. At four weeks old she got a cold, and that cold never went. She was struggling to breathe, not gaining weight, and not feeding. Her first visit to the doctor was at 6 weeks old. It took four months to get a diagnosis. At no point did her parents think it was leukaemia: 'The moment they told us I think I started to grieve, I felt like I'd lost my baby.'
Aila's white cell count should have been between 4-10 and by day three it had reached 257. She had tumours on her spine, in her skull and clots in her brain. On day five she had her lumbar puncture and a seven-hour MRI which showed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). She was on a ventilator and sedated for five days.
Aila was transferred to Southampton hospital's Piam Brown ward where she has undertaken four rounds of ten days of intense chemotherapy. For seven months, her parents packed up their life, their jobs and their flat to be with her - Young Lives vs Cancer's homes-from-home scheme made this possible.
Clare from Young Lives vs Cancer has been a friend Aila's parents have relied on: 'Clare is the person I offload to; she gets it, and she listens. It's like a friend you can go and chat with.' Grants from the charity have meant Aila has had toys and nappies and her parents can buy fresh clothes, toiletries, petrol and hospital costs.
When her treatment is finished, she will have to have lifetime checks, but Aila will be classed as having no detectable cancer in her body.