THE family of a four-year-old boy diagnosed with a brain tumour have had the best early Christmas present they could of wished for — news he is in remission.
Jen and Rob Lambert are celebrating after waiting 12 agonising weeks to find out if the life saving radiotherapy their son Jack received had conquered his medulloblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the brain which had spread to his spine.
Jen, 31, who grew up in Slaidburn before moving to Bolton-By-Bowland with her parents, said the family were over the moon at hearing the news yesterday.
She said: “It has simply been the best Christmas present we could have wished for.
“Jack is very young and has never really understood how poorly he has been.
“When we first found out he had cancer it was absolutely heartbreaking. It was horrendous, but having two young children you have to pick yourself up and pretend everything is OK, even if you don’t know if it will be.
“Jack is now officially in remission. He will now have to have scans every six months to check if the cancer has returned. Only when he has been clear for five years will he be given the official all clear.”
Jen and Rob, 37, a farmer who grew up in Barnoldswick before moving to Bolton-by-Bowland, first noticed something was wrong when Jack was a toddler.
He started vomiting every morning and then became unsteady on his feet.
After repeated trips to the doctors he was referred to Airedale for tests where brain scans revealed a large tumour when he was just 20 months old.
He was sent to Leeds General Infirmary where the following day he underwent a 10 hour operation to remove it.
Jack then had six months of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
He had the all clear for 18 months until June when scans showed that he had secondary cancer in his spine.
They were told a course of radiotherapy was his only option, but finding out if the treatment has worked has taken until now.
Jen said: “We can’t stop smiling. The phone has been ringing off the hook. Its amazing he is in remission.
“We are really looking forward to a family Christmas without the pressure of Jack being poorly.
“We are planning to celebrate Jack’s news with the family at a party being thrown for my brother-in-law Peter.
“We will continue to fundraise for the Brain Tumour Research and Support charity.”
Jack’s devoted family and friends have also rallied around, launching an awareness campaign about the condition with specially designed support ribbons created by a family friend.
A Facebook page set up by Sarah Kynaston and Lorraine Oliver called Jack’s Journey tells of his fight against the illness and raises awareness of the condition.
Ribbons can be obtained from the Sarah Rose shop in Clitheroe, the cafe at Gisburn Auction Mart and the old vicarage tea room in Tosside.
Last month Jack helped create a Christmas card to raise money to help others fighting the same illness.
They were so popular that more than 2,000 were sold and now the Brain Tumour Research and Support charity has asked if they can stock them in their shops.
The cards, which feature a hand and fingerprint reindeer by Jack and his brother James, have been made as part of an awareness campaign launched by his family and friends, to educate people about the condition.
To donate to the brain tumour charity visit www.justgiving.com/lorraine-oliver.