Anderson's family visited Ben's Retreat in September 2023.
On the 18th May 2023, Anderson our little boy who had just turned 7 years old, was admitted to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for his first night after being diagnosed with constipation a few days before during a routine allergy appointment, following his Mum’s gut instinct that the diagnosis was incorrect.
A day later on the 19th May after a number of blood tests, a CT, ultrasound and MRI scan we received the most devastating news “your child has cancer”, a disease that drained our cheeky, fun and beautiful boy within days. This day changed our lives forever.
Anderson was subsequently diagnosed with a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt Lymphoma, a fast-developing aggressive form of cancer, and subsequently transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital for surgery for a number of procedures; drains in both lungs, biopsies, bone aspirations & a catheter. The night pre and post surgery will never leave our thoughts with constant alarms and dropping vitals with a number of middle-of-night scans, doctor reviews and introductions to both PICU and HDU teams – with the doctor on both nights stating “we have to just make it through the night”.
Following this, Anderson completed 6 rounds of intensive chemotherapy, which meant over 70 nights in hospital, catching two infections, having a catheter again (that kept getting blocked), numerous scans, blood transfusions & lumber punctures on his journey to fight this awful disease.
Last week, 4 months to the day of admission, we received the wonderful news that our little superhero Anderson has no sign of cancer and is at the end of treatment. We can now start the process of piecing our life as a family back together and allow our precious little boy to enjoy being a child again.
We are beyond proud and know how lucky we are to have received such positive news. We know he still has a journey ahead of him, as his bloods still need to recover, he needs surgery to remove his central line, and an echo scan to see if the treatment has caused any damage to his heart. The plan at first involves check ups every 6 weeks, and scans every 3 months but from where we were this time 4 months ago, this is nothing but a blessing. The advice is a phased approach of introducing him back into school and activities maybe after half term.
We would like to thank the Ben Saunders Foundation for providing a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and recuperate as a family – it is a lifeline that you never expect to need and the wonderful foundation is truly providing much-needed support – thank you again.