When Ru Bennett-Day was diagnosed with blood cancer at two years old his family and friends began fund raising for charities fighting the disease.
Ten months on, Ru is in the ‘maintenance phase’ of his treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which will last about two-and-a-half years, and his supporters have raised about £21,000 for various charities, particularly Bloodwise.
His parents Sarah and Steve, from Rattlesden, back Bloodwise because Ru is on a research trial it runs.
Sarah, a midwife at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “From day one we were provided with information from Bloodwise and now we cannot imagine going through this journey without an organisation such as Bloodwise by our side.
“Without the research of Bloodwise, it is very unlikely our son would still be alive. We will be forever grateful that he has a good chance of survival.”
But though Ru is able to go back to mainstream nursery, he still has a long way to go.
Sarah recalls going into ‘work mode’ when she was given the diagnosis, researching the treatment so she could explain them to her family.
She admits: “It was only as I lay in the hospital bed with our son that night, an overwhelming sense of fear, vulnerability and guilt came over me that I was going to lose him.
“A significant part of every day is still consumed emotionally with the knowledge our son has cancer and we cannot predict what the future may look like. But the longer we go through this journey, the easier it is becoming to form a new normal.
“Knowing what we have faced over the last few months and how it has brought us closer than ever as a family, I am confident we will face the challenge of relapse should we have to.”
She feels other parents should consider treatment trials. “Our experience has been very positive,” she said.
The family are still fundraising and donations can be made at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/displaySomeoneSpecialPage.action?pageUrl=Rubennettday|www.virginmoneygiving.com|Click to donate}
For more information on Bloodwise visit www.bloodwise.org.uk