Tom Cowpe was just five years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in October 2008.
His mum, Sam, sought medical advice after Tom’s temperature began to fluctuate and he had less and less energy.
Sam says: “When the doctor told me Tom had leukaemia it was like one life ended and a new one began: we couldn’t be carefree anymore because there was always the blood cancer at the back of our minds. It’s hard to adjust but you have to.”
Tom is undergoing a course of maintenance chemotherapy, which he is due to complete in January 2012. Sam says: “I’m so proud of him. Tom has been through years of pain and discomfort but he’s just got on with it.”
Tom has an identical twin brother, Daniel, who has a one-in-ten-chance of also going on to develop leukaemia, as he is carrying the identical ‘pre-leukaemic’ stem cell as his twin. “This is obviously very worrying, but he goes to regular check ups, which gives us some piece of mind,” says Sam.
Sam is justifiably proud of both of her sons: “They’ve coped admirably. We were very honest with them about what was happening and both of them have been brilliant.”