Cancer lad’s mum backs wristband campaign

Ethan (left) and Lucas (right) with their wristbands

A mum whose son was given a shock cancer diagnosis when he was just three-years-old is calling on people to back a campaign to support the charity that helped them through it.

In the build up to World Cancer Day on Sunday, February 4, Jo Devaney is sharing her story to encourage locals to raise vital funds and awareness for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.

As part of the World Cancer Day campaign, supporters can donate £2 to get their Band Against Cancer wristband which is available in three collectable colours.

Jo, a mum of two from Gosberton Risegate, had her world turned upside down when her youngest son Lucas was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March 2015.

Lucas was treated with chemotherapy straight away, before moving on to maintenance therapy in November 2015, which is due to end this summer.

Throughout the ordeal, Jo (32) and her husband Gareth (37) have been supported by a CLIC Sargent social worker, who has provided vital emotional, practical and financial advice.

Jo said: “When Lucas was diagnosed with cancer it was a huge shock.

“Our CLIC Sargent social worker Amy was absolutely brilliant. She helped arrange some grants to help out with our finances, but it was the emotional support that was so amazing.

“Amy would just sit with me and have a cup of tea and a chat. She has been so great with listening to my worries and providing advice, and knowing that I can email or call her whenever and she’ll be there for me is priceless.

“I’m encouraging everyone to get their Band Against Cancer wristband because CLIC Sargent made such a difference to me and my family. Buying a band and shouting about this campaign is such an easy way to make sure you can help families like mine.”

Lucas’ older brother Ethan (8) added: “I want people to support CLIC Sargent by getting a band because it’s important that money is raised so that they can provide help and fun experiences for families going through hard times like my brother Lucas and our family.”

Recent Hidden Costs research from CLIC Sargent showed that 79 per cent of young people felt cancer had a serious impact on their emotional wellbeing, 70 per cent experienced depression during their cancer treatment and 83 per cent of young people experienced loneliness during their cancer treatment.

Emma Taylor, CLIC Sargent’s local fundraising and engagement manager, said: “Hearing the word ‘cancer’ can leave a lot of friends, family and loved ones not knowing what to say, or do, and feeling helpless.

“Donating and getting your Band Against Cancer wristband is a simple way to show your support for CLIC Sargent and families who have had their lives turned upside down.

“With your help, CLIC Sargent can reach those families behind the statistics, through our support workers and nurses who provide practical, emotional and financial support, to help minimise the damage cancer causes to young people beyond their health.”

• To find out more about World Cancer Day and to get your own Band Against Cancer wristband go to: www.clicsargent.org.uk/WorldCancerDay

Wristbands are also available in JD Wetherspoon pubs, Morrisons stores and selected H Samuel and Ernest Jones stores.

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