22 August 2016
Kerry Bown shares her story.
We are #teambrown, a regular family from Bournemouth whose life was turned upside down in January 2016 when our 10 year old son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Felix is your absolute, everyday 10 year old boy. His passion is football, his mates are the best thing since sliced bread and he wants to be and look cool.At the moment, he hasn't played football since January, he sees his friends very occasionally when he is well enough to attend school, he is bald and has gained 5 kilos in weight.Despite changing, sometimes beyond recognition, our beautiful boy with his sharp sense of humour and beaming smile is still there.
Felix’s diagnosis came out of the blue.As one of three children and both parents who work as full-time teachers, we are a busy, lively household.Over the festive period Felix complained of feeling tired and his legs ached but we explained his aches and pains away as the time of year and playing too much football. It wasn’t until he had an unusual infection between Christmas and New Year, that we took him to the doctors.He was prescribed antibiotics and our request for a routine blood test was agreed just to make sure there was nothing underlying. I nearly didn’t bother making the appointment for the blood test as he seemed absolutely fine once the infection had cleared.The 28th January 2016 was a bright and sunny day; that day will stay with us forever. He went to school that day, after the blood test, without a care in the world. By bedtime that night he had been admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of leukaemia,
One of the hardest things we had to do was tell family and friends. My husband collected our other two children, who were being looked after by friends and carefully tried to explain to them what was going on. We phoned our parents, our sisters and brother, our closest friends; the shock was immeasurable, the ripple effect was enormous. Within 24 hours, word had spread around the community and people were dumbfounded. Felix was the epitome of a healthy, fit and active boy - how could this be?
As word spread, the support from the community came flooding in from strangers as well as friends.We were inundated with messages of hope ad love; we were humbled by the response.This has what has made this whole thing so much easier to cope with; the support and love from people around us. We are in awe of people’s compassion and kindness towards us. Their generosity and altruistic actions have been a life-line for us and remind us of all the good in the world on a daily basis. The football community has been particularly supportive - they have provided the motivation that Felix has needed to keep going through the endless and brutal treatment.
Without the support from our local community, from emotional support to practical everyday help, our last 6 months would’ve been far harder to cope with. The everyday actions, thoughts and words from people around us have given us the strength to face each day with a smile and a passion to stay positive. The value of being supported by the people around you is worth it’s weight in gold.
If you have ben affected by Kerry Brown’s story, please visit her blog: https://mrsbrown.me/
We would like to thank the following organisations for their ongoing support: