Olly's family visited Ben's Retreat in October 2023.
On the 18th of November 2022, our world was turned upside down when our beautiful son Olly was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, after a few weeks of being slightly unwell and complaining of pains in his legs. The diagnosis came as the most devastating blow to us all.
Initially we were told Olly had the more favourable type of leukaemia, however a week after diagnosis we received further hard news when we were told Olly has a very rare and aggressive form of ALL, Philadelphia chromosome positive. This would require Olly to complete a very intense protocol to keep the leukaemia at bay.
It’s really hard to put in to words how difficult this past year has been. Olly has had severe side effects from chemotherapy including nerve damage to his legs, meaning he now uses a wheelchair. He spent last Christmas in hospital with his liver not functioning properly and multiple infections. He has spent endless amounts of nights in hospital, often staying for 3 weeks at a time to complete blocks of chemo. He spikes temperatures regularly which means at least 48 hour trips to the hospital. He hasn’t been at school since November last year and we are limited to what we can do as a family due to how immune compromised Olly is. Ward 18 at Birmingham childrens hospital feels more like our home at the moment.
Despite all of this Olly continues to make us laugh and smile everyday. We know he is feeling better when he starts to be cheeky and rude again! We are all in awe of his strength and determination, he is the bravest boy we have ever known.
Thank you to the Ben Saunders Foundation for this much needed break.