A LITTLE boy, who is battling leukaemia, will be taking part in this year’s Race for Life with his mother for charity.
Brave Ollie Harrison, who is five, together with mum Emma and nine-year-old brother Daniel, are putting their best foot forward in the annual fundraiser in Alexandra Park on Sunday, June 15.
The family, who live in Pett, are raising money for the charity, Be Child Cancer Aware, which aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the cancers that affect children, teenagers and young adults among parents and young people.
Emma said: “Ollie was diagnosed with leukaemia in October 2012, just before his fourth birthday.
He is doing well and has just under two years of chemotherapy treatment left.
“It was definitely a shock when we found out Ollie had leukaemia. For any parent it would be a shock.”
Ollie’s mum took her son to the doctor for a check-up in October 2012 as there was something not quite right. Blood tests were taken at the Conquest Hospital and Ollie was then referred to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey.
Emma said: “The Conquest was really good as Ollie was diagnosed quickly so could start treatment.
“He had none of the symptoms of leukaemia which are normally displayed in children.
“Ollie has had to undergo six months of intensive chemotherapy since he was diagnosed. When he was a month into treatment he suffered kidney failure and was in intensive care for two days.
“In December 2012 Ollie was in hospital for nearly two weeks with septicaemia (blood poisoning).”
Every three months the youngster, who attends Sandown School, on The Ridge, also has to have intrathecal chemotherapy where chemotherapy is given into the fluid around the spinal cord during a lumbar puncture.
A lumbar puncture itself is a medical procedure where a needle is inserted into the lower part of the spine.
Ollie is now in remission, his mum added, but by the time his treatment ends he will have undergone three years of chemotherapy.
Emma said: “Be Child Cancer Aware raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer. This charity has also introduced the Beads of Courage programme, which really encourages them to be brave.”
The Beads of Courage Programme allows children to tell their story of their treatment using colourful beads.
The beads are used as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate different milestones such as blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, hospital stays, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.
Their beads build up over time into a unique record of what they have been through.
More information about Be Child Cancer Aware can be found online at www.bechildcanceraware.org.
To donate towards the Harrison’s cause ring Emma on 07894 311990.