“Sometimes, Superheroes reside in the hearts of small children fighting big battles”.
I’m not sure how to begin writing this post. I hope I do the little dude, and his family in question, proud…
To start with, it’s a break from my usual inebriated ramblings and I’m actually going to talk about something serious for a change.
The UK’s biggest child killer.
Sadly, we have all been touched by the utter bugger that is Cancer at some point in our lives. We all know someone who has had it, you may have battled against it yourself, you may have lost a friend or a loved one to it. Cancer doesn’t descriminate. It doesn’t care who it touches, who it takes, who it weakens. It’s merciless and, as yet, there is no way to prevent it.
It’s a lottery. Like the toss of a coin. Heads or tales. You win or you loose.
Cancer is so merciless, as we know all too well, that even children fall victim to it’s grasp. And this fact is so hard to swallow. It’s the ultimate nightmare.
We all think that ‘it won’t happen to us’, we assume we will be fine and that it’s something that only happens to other people.
Luckily for me and my family, this has been the case for us so far, and I’m greatful to the moon and back for my families health (as much as I moan about them all…)
Sadly however, this ultimate nightmare has touched someone close to me, my friends and my son and I felt compelled to write a piece about it.
So, with the permission of his wonderful Mum, Tamsin, here is my blog post dedicated to the little cancer fighting ‘Arsenal FC loving’ ninja that is, Sam.
Sam was a normal little lad. Sam’s family were your typical family. Just like you or me. His mum loves Gin…just like me.
Until, one day, Sam was in pain. Lots of pain.
After days of A&E visits, being turned away, being sent home with painkillers, investigations and blood tests, little Sam was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
Their world stopped turning. The days passed in a blur. And as a fellow mum, I felt helpless.
I didn’t know Tamsin that well then. Her son, Sam, was in a different class to my son, but in the same year and a friend of mine had a son who was best buddies with him.
The shock when the news unfurled between the parents, between the school community, was unfathomable.
How could this happen to someone at our school, who is the same age as our children?
What could we do?
We felt helpless. And devastated, so goodness knows how Sam’s family felt.
I remember sitting at home sobbing as I read the email from Tamsin informing everyone about it. How do you even begin to write an email like that?! She is so amazing. It’s something nobody should ever have to write. My child has cancer. Those words should never be written or said by anyone, but sadly it’s happening every day. To normal people like you and me. To normal people like Tamsin and Stuart. But write it she did. Strong from the off, a fighting spirit that has kept her and her family going through the toughest of times. The Sharland family have fought this battle as a team, and I am in utter awe of them. There are no words that do them justice.
Sam and his family were told he had 3 years and 4 months of treatment ahead of him to help rid him of this cancer. This unwelcome invader.
He has 1 year remaining before his treatment ends. And i truly hope that by this time next year, things for the Sharland family and little Sam are brighter. More normal. More carefree.
During this time Sam lost his hair, he felt more poorly than anyone should ever have to feel and all the while, kept a smile on his face. I don’t know how he’s done it. He’s a complete trouper.
His family have tried to ensure he has kept as normal a life as possible during his treatment. School have been brilliant, and Sam is flying academically because of it. A real testament to all involved.
I see Sam almost every day. He walks to school like any normal kid, he argues with his little brother Ross like any normal kid, he moans that he wants some more match attax like any other kid, but Sam isn’t ‘like any normal kid’. He’s a superhero. He’s a little fighter. And I truly hope he has a happy, healthy and carefree future ahead of him.
Sam’s hair has now grown back, he’s doing amazingly well at school and his family have taken the mindset that “Life is too short” and to “live for today”. They have maximised their opportunities when they can and made sure that Sam has had the best 3 years of his life, even though the reality is they have probably been the worst. Days out, trips away, eperiences of a lifetime. All so deserved.
They wanted to ensure Sam had happy memories of this time, not sadness, and I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s mission accomplished where that is concerned.
Well done Team Sharland.
Please take some time to read Sam’s Story on the Children with Cancer website.
And if you have a few spare pennies (think the cost of a bottle of Wine or Gin) and fancy donating to this amazing and worthwhile cause, Children with Cancer UK, please do.
Kids should be able to be kids. To have no worries. To be well.
Cancer is an arsehole. Let’s help to stop it.
Please share this post.
It would mean the world to me, The Sharland’s, Sam, and everyone else affected by this despicable illness.x
This is for you Buddy…