Four children have opened up about the reality of being diagnosed with cancer at a young age for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The footage, released by Cancer Research UK to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, shows children speaking about their experience with cancer.
The heartbreaking videos were played back to the children’s parents after they were recorded, who also open up about how they felt when their child was diagnosed with cancer.
Bella was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2012 while on holiday with her family.
‘My mum did cry sometimes, but it was strange to see my dad cry, because I’d never seen him like that before. When my hair started falling out, he was devastated. In the end we just had to shave most of it off’, Bella says in the video.
Bella’s dad Andy, who’s also in the video, has said how amazed he was at his daughter’s strength throughout the whole journey.
‘To see what my daughter has been through, I’ll never take her for granted. That first 72 hours of Bella being diagnosed was really, really terrifying.
‘I remember saying to my dad, ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore’, and he said, ‘Man up, get up and do it, you’ve got to.”
Nengi was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma when she was only two-years-old but she still remembers how it felt.
‘Sometimes my mum would be upset and I wouldn’t really understand why. Seeing me like that, it broke her heart.’
After watching her daughter’s video, mum Janet said: ‘I didn’t think I was strong until my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. I had to stop everything to be there for her. I’m surprised she remembers so much. She just wanted to be like every other child and now she is – she’s got an amazing heart.’
Rhys, who says his doctor is his hero, was only four when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and was left with a scar in the back of his head after he took part in a clinical trial funded by Cancer Research UK.
His mum Keely recalls the moment she was told about her son’s diagnosis: ‘You just don’t expect to hear the word ‘cancer’, when you’re talking about your child. The fear never goes away. Whenever he gets a sniffle you suddenly think, ‘Oh my God, have they got it again?’
‘You’ve got to put your trust in a very, very experienced team to look after your child’s life. It’s taken out of your hands and given to somebody else.’
Izzy was diagnosed with Leukaemia in September 2011 when she was only two-years-old and her dad Wayne says she still worries about cancer despite being so young.
‘Izzy was diagnosed when she was two. I didn’t think she remembered anything but yet she says she felt worried. I think she still does worry. Even if it’s just a tummy bug she’ll say, ‘I need my hospital, the cancer is still in me.’ It’s difficult to let go of responsibility, but angels walk the wards of those hospitals’, he says in the video.
The heartbreaking short films were created by Cancer Research UK in order to raise awareness about the condition and how it can affect children and their families.
According to official information provided by the charity around 4,200 young people under 25 years old are diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year. While the majority manage to beat the disease, there are still 540 cancer deaths in young people in the UK each year.
The charity is also appealing for donations, which can also be done by donating unwanted quality clothing in TK Maxx stores, as part of the Give Up Clothes for Good campaign.