At just 13 months old, in January 2013, our son Henry was diagnosed with a large malignant brain tumour. Our world fell apart instantly and life as we knew it, changed immediately. Henry was very poorly and underwent almost immediate surgery to drain some of the dangerous fluid on his brain and then to attempt to remove the large tumour in his cerebellum, which took over nine hours.
After surgery, Henry’s recovery was long and hard and we temporarily lost our bubbly little boy. Twelve long months of chemotherapy followed. We spent over 150 nights between Addenbrooke’s hospital where he received the drugs and many other nights in West Suffolk hospital dealing with infections that he caught due to his dangerously low immune system. It had a huge impact on not only Henry, but on our whole family, including Henry’s elder sister, Eve, who missed out on so much.
Henry completed chemotherapy in February 2014 and although he struggles with several aspects of his health, he has a joy and love for life and brings such happiness into our lives. At the moment, Henry has MRIs every three months to monitor his cancer and to watch out for recurrence. We don’t know what his future holds but we are determined to make the most of every moment with our precious son.
We decided to launch Henry’s Holiday Help, in order to help families just like ours who have been through the unimaginable. We wanted local families to know that they aren’t alone and that many others sadly understand exactly what they are going through. Knowing the financial strain that it can also leave families with, we decided that we would offer every family of a child diagnosed with cancer from West Suffolk, with a one off grant to help make life a little easier. This will hopefully be used towards taking a family holiday, to spend some precious time together and make some magical memories.
We also help support the work of West Suffolk Hospital’s children ward in helping support the oncology families there too, when we can.