In May 2015 Evie, three, started complaining of leg and arm pain. The doctor said it was growing pains and sent her home. But Evie got worse. Tests soon revealed Evie had leukaemia (ALL). She started chemotherapy straight away and had to spend three weeks in hospital. She was allowed home for treatment but suffered side effects including hair loss. Now Evie is back at school but she chooses not to wear a wig. When classmates ask about her hair she just shrugs and says: 'It will grow back'. Evie’s grandad Jack tells her story.
"It all started in May 2015. Evie was three and a very lively child. Then she started complaining that her arms hurt and ached. Soon after that she started saying her legs hurt. We had to carry her around everywhere.
"The doctor said it was growing pains and told us to go away, which was disappointing. But Evie got worse. This time, they sent Evie to hospital for specialist tests.
"Sam and I knew something bad was going on because we got to skip the queues wherever we went, much to peoples disgust. We knew whatever happened it wasn’t going to be good.
"The next day, we found out Evie had a type of leukaemia called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia."
"At the hospital, a CLIC Sargent Worker came and talked to Sam about the practical things like financial allowances she could get which was very reassuring.
A safety net
"Luckily Evie could have most of her chemo from home. CLIC Sargent Nurses called Karen, Liz and Lynne came to the house to do the treatment.
"CLIC Sargent gave us lots of names and numbers we needed. If we had questions we could phone them which was a massive safety net. You think you know everything about being a parent until a cancer diagnosis - then you realise you know nothing.
"It was CLIC Sargent Play Specialist Jenny that gave us the Barbie doll with a bald head and wigs. We explained to Evie that she would lose her hair.
"She just accepted it as normal. The only thing she asked was: ‘Will my hair grow back?’ She has so much love around her that it has not really fazed her.
"I asked CLIC Sargent: ‘Can we take her to Disney in Paris?’ They helped us arrange it. They gave us a letter to take to the hospital, in French, in case we needed to take her there.
"They also arranged a special pass which meant she could skip all the queues. We were there for two days. She met Ariel. I wanted to give her something normal.
"For one day she could forgot about the injections, medications and hospital visits and be treated like a normal little princess."
Find out more
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. Right now we can only help two out of three young cancer patients like Evie.
Help us make it three out of three and donate online.
To find out more about how we help families cope with the impact of childhood cancer, please visit our info and support section. If you need support yourself please contact us on 0300 330 0803 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.