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“I have two healthy sons living full lives”

Koreen’s sons were diagnosed with a blood cancer called leukaemia. The following are Koreen’s words, shared with the Leukaemia Foundation to help raise awareness of blood cancer during September’s Blood Cancer Awareness Month 2019.

I have two sons who were diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

My eldest son was two-and-half years old when diagnosed.

Koreen's sonsIt was a very stressful time as I had a four-week-old baby, too, and I was trying to cater for his needs as well as the needs of my eldest.

My eldest did not go into remission as per normal, “slow responder”, so he was bumped to the high risk category [with] very high-dose chemotherapy.

Eventually he responded and, thankfully, a bone marrow transplant was not needed.

Fast track two years, life was back to normal and things were all going well when my baby (who was now three-and-a-half years old) was also diagnosed with ALL.

Thankfully he responded well and was just standard risk but, not to be outdone, he had an anaphylactic reaction to one of the chemo drugs.

Two years later his treatment too came to the end just in time for him to start school.

I now have two very healthy young adult men, 22 years old and a 20-year-old, living full lives. The eldest just graduated from university, studying paramedicine, and is joining the Army as a commando.

My youngest son is joining the Navy. He has had many delays due to medical history but hopefully he is nearly there.