Jaylen's family visited the Cotswolds in October 2023.
On the first day back at school following the Easter holidays 2022 Jaylen called to say he was feeling out of breath walking to school. He came home and although he seemed fine I called the doctor. The doctor advised that he may need an ecg, which could only be done at hospital and so to take him to A&E.
After hours at a&e, a chest X-ray and ecg we were told he was being discharged but after sitting there with him for hours it was more apparent to me than ever that something wasn’t right.
I argued with the doctor who reluctantly agreed to do a ‘quick blood test’ from Jaylen’s wrist. Within 20 minutes that doctor was in the room full of apologies and explaining to me that he had ‘learned something that day’.
Jaylen’s bloods were dangerously low. It took 2-days to finally get the diagnosis of high risk B-cell ALL. It felt like our world had crumbled. Intensive chemotherapy started immediately and our lives were turned upside down.
Jaylen didn’t reach remission as initially expected and so was moved to the highest dosage of chemotherapy and the most brutal regime, which has left scars on our hearts that will never fade, but eventually he reached remission.
Jaylen endured infections, a dramatic weight loss, NG tube feeding and throughout it all kept his spirits high. People would ask how we kept so strong and our answer was the same ‘if jaylen is smiling, we are smiling’. He showed strength and courage I’d never have known.
Due to the financial impact of the diagnosis we were forced to leave our home and relocate 200 miles away, where cost of living was cheaper. Jaylen left his friends behind, as did his two siblings. It has been a tough transition.
Jaylen continues on treatment until August 2025, currently coping well in maintenance.
Within the past fortnight our lives were unrailed again but our family are in a place where we feel we can enjoy a break and celebrate the hurdles that have been overcome since Jaylen’s diagnosis.
We are so incredibly proud of him and hope his spirit and attitude remain strong during his recovery.
We are so grateful to the foundation and look forward to a much needed break. 🙏💕