Spalding family calls for locals to ‘band together’ for national cancer campaign

A mum from Spalding whose son was given a shock cancer diagnosis when he was just 3-years-old is calling on locals to back a campaign to support the charity that helped them through it.

Spalding family calls for locals to ‘band together’ for national cancer campaign

In the build up to World Cancer Day on Sunday 4 February, Jo Devaney is sharing her story to encourage locals to raise vital funds and awareness for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.

As part of the World Cancer Day campaign, supporters can donate £2 to get their Band Against Cancer wristband which is available in three collectable colours. Get yours now.

Jo, a mother of two from Gosberton Risegate, had her world turned upside down when her youngest son Lucas was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March 2015.

Lucas was treated with chemotherapy straight away, before moving on to maintenance therapy in November 2015, which is due to end this summer.

Throughout the ordeal, Jo, 32, and her husband Gareth, 37, have been supported by a CLIC Sargent Social Worker, who has provided vital emotional, practical and financial advice.

Jo said: “When Lucas was diagnosed with cancer it was a huge shock.

“Our CLIC Sargent Social Worker Amy was absolutely brilliant. She helped arrange some grants to help out with our finances, but it was the emotional support that was so amazing.

“Amy would just sit with me and have a cup of tea and a chat. She has been so great with listening to my worries and providing advice, and knowing that I can email or call her whenever and she’ll be there for me is priceless.

“I’m encouraging everyone to get their Band Against Cancer wristband because CLIC Sargent made such a difference to me and my family. Buying a band and shouting about this campaign is such an easy way to make sure you can help families like mine.”

Lucas’s older brother Ethan, 8, added: “I want people to support CLIC Sargent by getting a band because it’s important that money is raised so that they can provide help and fun experiences for families going through hard times like my brother Lucas and our family!”

Recent Hidden Costs research from CLIC Sargent showed that 79% of young people felt cancer had a serious impact on their emotional wellbeing, 70% experienced depression during their cancer treatment and 83% of young people experienced loneliness during their cancer treatment.

Emma Taylor, CLIC Sargent Fundraising & Engagement Manager for Bedfordshire and East Anglia, said: “Hearing the word ‘cancer’ can leave a lot of friends, family and loved ones, not knowing what to say, or do, and feeling helpless. Donating and getting your Band Against Cancer wristband is a simple way to show your support for CLIC Sargent and families who have had their lives turned upside down.  

“With your help, CLIC Sargent can reach those families behind the statistics, through our support workers and nurses who provide practical, emotional and financial support, to help minimise the damage cancer causes to young people beyond their health.”

To find out more about World Cancer Day and to get your own Band Against Cancer wristband go to: www.clicsargent.org.uk/worldcancerday, also available in JD Wetherspoon pubs, Morrisons stores and selected H Samuel and Ernest Jones stores. 

For more information, an interview or images, please contact Rebecca.Bourley@clicsargent.org.uk or call her on 020 8752 2938. Out of hours contact 08448 481189.

About cancer in children and young people

Today, 11 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

About CLIC Sargent

When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. For more information, visit www.clicsargent.org.uk

Note to sub editors

Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.   

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