NORMALITY has crept into the home of Emma and Mark Garwood after their identical twin daughters, who had bravely battled cancer, were given the all-clear.
“They said their bone marrow was clear of cancer cells and me and Mark just burst into tears,” said Emma.
Sisters Megan and Gracie were diagnosed with leukaemia within a fortnight of each other in September 2009.
The girls from Rougham, now aged seven, endured chemotherapy up until their all-clear on February 16, which put an end to their regime of daily ‘stop eating medicine’ and monthly ‘grumpy medicine’.
“Unless you’ve had to plan your life around chemotherapy you don’t appreciate how the simple things are the best,” said Emma, 41.
And although it has not been easy, with Megan still needing regular physiotherapy to strengthen her legs, the sisters bear little resemblance to the sick girls of their past.
Emma said: “They’re so much more active. The last month their energy levels have gone through the roof.
“They go to school every day and are keen to learn. They’re going on school trips without us having to worry about whether they’re well enough and they’re swimming four times a week.”
Mark, 38, a self-confessed workaholic, said: “It’s changed my life. Before the girls got diagnosed I took my family for granted but, after, it put things into perspective – spending time with my family and seeing them grow up is the most important thing, everything else is secondary.”
Emma said: “I do wonder sometimes whether it was us – it’s amazing how quickly you can get back into normality. “Obviously it’s always in the back of our minds but we can’t live life waiting for it to come back – the girls have beaten this and hopefully they’ll lead healthy, happy lives.”
The relieved couple, who also have a four-year-old daughter, have booked a holiday next year to Disneyland, Florida, using the twins’ generously supported ‘Disneyland Dream’ fund.