“You have to look for the good things or you will fall apart”: how families face childhood cancer together – Cancer Research UK

This is a non-independent article produced as part of a commercial deal with Guardian Labs and originally published on the Guardian website.

There are around4,200 new casesof cancer in children and young people each year in the UK. Thats 12 families a day whose lives are changed for ever. When a young person is diagnosed with cancer, their loved oneslives are upended too, from the emotional turmoil to the practicalities of work. However, the pain of a diagnosis often brings families together to get through their darkest moments.

We had to work as a team to overcome all of the obstacles”

Alice Lilley, from south-east England, is the Mum of Jasper, 12, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour called a medulloblastoma aged five.

While Jasper was getting treatment, me and my husband, Darren, were never at home together as one of us was always at the hospital with him. We missed simple things like family mealtimes, because even when Jasper was at home he felt too unwell to eat and couldn’t bear the smell of food cooking. 

It was a very daunting time: always waiting for the next operation or procedure, coping with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and trying to keep life as normal as possible so that Jasper could still enjoy some aspects of childhood.

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