Kate H
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Why I’m supporting Small Change, BIG Impact: Kate Haynes

Kate H
Posted by
18 Sep 2013

Kate Haynes is supporting the Small Change, BIG Impact initiative. Here she discusses the impact of her daughter Kitty being diagnosed with leukaemia and the effect it had on their family.

We are a family living with leukaemia. Our daughter Kitty was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), an extremely rare form of paediatric leukaemia, in August 2011, a week before her fifteenth birthday.

Unfortunately for Kitty, at the time of diagnosis, leukaemia cells clotted on the right side of her brain and caused a stroke down the whole of her left side. Some stroke damage remains, but that is another story.

We lived on Piam Brown Ward at Southampton General Hospital, a specialist children's Oncology Ward for three months treatment; embracing chemo, hair loss, relentless blood tests, many transfusions, central lines, side effects, demons and brighter days, brilliant consultants and lovely nurses, three monthly bone marrow aspirates, tears and cheese straws.

After two years of extreme lows and highs on a paediatric cancer journey, Kitty is stronger and we have a massive need to fundraise, to promote further research into leukaemia and lymphoma to help others.

Giving small change WILL provide a BIG impact towards leukaemia and lymphoma research. It will ensure advances in the future treatment of a person or family living with these life threatening diseases and research will change lives, give hope and save a life.

Without medical research there would not be the protocols to treat blood cancers.

Kitty's treatment for APL has been clinically trialled and documented, including the plan B options, if she did not respond to treatment.

Without specific medical research we could be in a very different position; we would be a family visibly drowning on a cancer journey. Instead we have confidence and encouragement, in the words and treatment plan Kitty's brilliant consultant offers.

We live with positive hope - although Kitty has had a couple of recent relapse scares!

Please give generously to secure someone's life and future. Please give generously to secure the medical safety net pioneering research provides, it simply makes sense.

Give a little change, to prevent another child's parents hearing and attempting to process the words: "There are abnormal cells, we think it is leukaemia." We experienced this moment two years ago, on 28 August 2011 our world fell apart - it still hurts!

Kitty is still on treatment and living with acute promyelocytic leukaemia with daily chemo and other medications, weekly blood tests and three monthly bone marrow aspirates - it is part of her life.  We as a family are eternally grateful for the medical protocol that supports and treats Kitty’s disease.

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