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Three-year-old Ribble Valley cancer boy's brave fight with brain tumour
THE FAMILY of a three-year-old boy diagnosed with a brain tumour faces an agonising 12-week wait to find out if life-saving treatment has worked.
They were told Jack Lambert had an aggressive cancer of the brain, medulloblastoma, when he was just 20 months old.
After intensive chemotherapy that left him unable to walk, he was given the all clear.
But then his parents, Jen and Rob Lambert, were given the devastating news that the cancer had spread to Jack’s spine.
They were told a course of radiotherapy was his only option, but the results will not be known until just before Christmas.
Jack has now started six weeks of treatment at Leeds General Infirmary.
And his devoted family and friends have also rallied around, launching an awareness campaign about the condition while also aiming to raise £5,000 for the Brain Tumour Research and Support charity.
Their message has already spread to Hawaii, Marbella and Ireland after specially designed support ribbons were created by a family friend.
Jen, 31, who grew up in Slaidburn before moving to Bolton-By-Bowland with her parents, said the family were taking things one day at a time.
She said: “Jack has been so brave, I can’t believe how well he has coped with it.
“After they removed the tumour in his brain doctors said that there was an 80 per cent chance of it coming back in another part of his body. We tried not to think about it.
“Because he already had the maximum amount of chemotherapy that he could have, radiotherapy was the only thing they could give him for the tumours on his spine.
“We have to wait 12 weeks to find out if the radiotherapy works. This is because it causes swelling which means that doctors are unable to tell before then.
“We just have to get on with it but it is always in the back of my mind. Depending on the news we get Christmas might be great, or on the other hand it might not be.”
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.
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.
Jen said: “Our friends have been fantastic and have really taken over the fundraising. It has just taken off and it has all gone a bit crazy.
“We originally had a target of £500 but have raise nearly £2,500, so now we have raised it to £5,000.
“My friend Sarah Kynaston has made ribbons which we are asking for a suggested donation of a £1. She originally made a hundred but demand for them has been so great that she needed to make a further 700.”
She said the ribbons were now being proudly worn by friends in Hawaii, marbella and Ireland in support of Jack.
Sarah, together with Katheryn Booth and Lorraine Oliver have also launched a Facebook page called Jack’s Journey telling of his fight against the illness and raising awareness.
Sarah said: “The family have just been amazing with the way they have coped with everything. Regardless of everything they have been through they still want to help other people.”
From 2pm today the olympic torch will be at The Play Barn in Settle with donations being received on behalf of Jack to the Brain Tumour Research and Support.
Ribbons can also be obtained from the Sarah Rose shop in Clitheroe, the cafe at Gisburn Auction Mart and the old vicarage tea room in Tosside.
To donate to the brain tumour charity visit www.justgiving.com/lorraine-oliver
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