James was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma in August 2011 and underwent six months of chemotherapy at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.
The McNaughton-Jones family were supported by CLIC Sargent Social Worker, Sue Carey, who was particularly helpful when James moved to a difficult secondary school after finishing his treatment.
James has has been off treatment since then and his family are committed CLIC Sargent fundraisers – his mother Alison having taken part in the Great North Run 2013 and raised £3,000. The Newcastle Carol Concert is now set to raise around £3,500 also.
James’s mum, Alison said: “We met Sue, our CLIC Sargent Social Worker, towards the end of James’ first course of treatment and she was there to speak to from then on if we ever had any problems… she was there to help with all the practical things, the bits you don’t necessarily think about.
“He’d missed his friends throughout his treatment even though they came to visit him and he couldn’t wait to get back to school. He actually went back two days after the end of his treatment. He passed his flute exam in summer 2012 and was up to Grade 5 theory by the time he’d finished junior school. He’d done his previous grade’s theory from his hospital bed.
“But then it all started to go wrong when he went to secondary school – they just completely didn’t get it. It was on the same site as his junior school but it couldn’t have been more different really. Sue had written to his junior school to explain what he’d been through and what support he’d need and they took it all on board. She did the same at the secondary school but they just didn’t understand what he’d been through and they didn’t know how to deal with it.
“They said his concentration wasn’t very good and he was being disruptive. They suggested he might have Asperger’s Syndrome to start with which just set everything off in the wrong direction. We’ve now moved him to a different school because the old place just didn’t get it and he’s settling back into things now.
“The support we had from Sue Carey and CLIC Sargent throughout that time was hugely appreciated as it was very hard.
"We’ve always been able to contact CLIC Sargent and if we’ve ever had any problems Sue has been there to speak to – she’s been brilliant."
"The support Sue has given us during James’ difficult times at school has been invaluable. She did her very best to make sure he was more comfortable at school in a very important time of his life, and we’re so grateful for that.
At the concert, the Macnaughton-Jones family also spoke about the support CLIC Sargent provided for them.
Find out more
To find out how you and your family can help support CLIC Sargent, please contact CLIC Sargent Fundraising Manager Dee Tyler on 0113 230 7902 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.