Brett G
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Life isn’t always perfect - by Isra, 12

Brett G
Posted by
05 Jan 2018

Our 12 year old daughter recently wrote an autobiographical article for school on something important in her life, and this turned out to be her experience of my blood cancer. I was really touched when I read it and thought it deserves a wider audience.

Many patients have young families, and being able to hear perspectives from others, and the simple fact that life can get better, may we both hope, help people.

Family in Kenya

Hi, I am Isra. I am an ordinary 12 year old. I have two brothers, one called Sam who is eight (a little tip for you if you ever meet him don’t call him cute, you’ll thank me for that), and the other called Omar, who is fourteen. I must admit that even though they are annoying they can be nice. I also have a mum and a dad who care a lot about me and my brothers and have taught us not to take things for granted.

Now I have told you a bit about me and my family you have probably worked out how I am not famous, and I really am an ordinary school girl. So, in that case you have probably stopped reading this autobiography as my life sounds dull and uneventful as you have probably realised that I am not a millionaire or a celebrity. But have I told you about the time I got my finger stuck in a chair in primary school or when I split my lip because I ran into a wall, or the time I held a baby crocodile on my head? I guess now you might want to read on to discover one moment in my life that I can never forget as it was so sudden and out of the blue. But for me to tell you I’ll have to take you to my holiday in Africa, in 2014.

Africa. What a place! My family and I loved it there. We went to Kenya when I was in year four as my dad’s friend had invited us and we couldn’t turn the opportunity down. I remember it still very clearly, how each day I would go in the swimming pool and swim right to the bottom of the pool and touch all three of the dolphins (don’t worry they weren’t real, they were tiled on the bottom of the pool) and how every morning we would have big fresh juicy oranges, they were so good that I barely have oranges in England now, as they don’t taste as good. When we went on the safari and saw elephants, lions, giraffes and hippos. As well as how the tent we stayed in on the safari was massive and how we always had to have mosquito nets around us when we went to bed. I also remember how I got my own room and my brothers had to share (a good thing about being the only girl), which then led to my older brother killing a mosquito with Sam’s book as it had flown under the mosquito net. But little did we know something was going to happen that would change our lives. And whilst we were all tanning and having fun my dad was feeling ill and how he was not as active as he should have been.

When we came back to England my dad still felt ill and he went to the doctors and kept on going until they gave him a blood test. That night after they got the blood results back, the doctor phoned my dad and told him devastating news. Not that he was going to die in a week but something else.
He had blood cancer…
He had acute myeloid leukaemia. That was the 7th of May 2014, he went to hospital on the 12th. He had a lot of chemotherapy that meant he lost his hair and when he would wake it would be on his pillow. But he got better soon so that summer holiday we had a party to celebrate him getting better as he reacted well to the chemotherapy. We also went to Cornwall on holiday, it was great we got to go body boarding and we went to Bodmin prison.

Then my dad’s blood levels were going down, so the doctors had decided to check how he was doing by giving him a biopsy, and the next day I went to the Eden Project (you’re probably wondering what that has to do with this but it’s how I remember the day). Our bus was delayed coming home, so we arrived at 7 O’clock and then when I got home my parents sat me and my brothers down and told us for the second time that our dad had blood cancer. The next day he went to hospital and we had to cancel our holiday to Pevensey. That summer we spent the holidays going to other people’s houses as my mum couldn’t look after us as she was visiting my dad so often. That year my dad had a stem cell transplant and he survived which was good news for us as lots of things could go wrong.

That was 2 years ago now, my dad nearly died, but I guess all is better. I suppose that’s why I respect my parents more and my wish now is that I can meet my dad’s donor. The person who saved his life and many others.

I guess now that if you have read my autobiography then you would know about this moment of my life I can never forget and how I have learnt to appreciate friends and family that you have. And how you only realise how precious something is to you when its nearly gone.

Crocodile on head
On safari