Brave Solihull family tell story of son's leukemia battle to raise awareness - The Solihull Observer
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9th Aug, 2022

Brave Solihull family tell story of son's leukemia battle to raise awareness

Emily Fish 29th Jun, 2017

A RESILIENT family – which has been dealt a double cancer blow – is fighting to raise awareness of leukemia after their son was diagnosed with the condition in 2014.

Joshua Nicholson, eight, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) three years ago – and began a three-and-a-half year course of treatment.

Josh’s treatment began straight away and consisted of chemotherapy, a variety of medications and trips to theatre for bone marrow biopsies, a lumbar puncture and Hickman line replacements.

His mum Victoria said the first ten months were the most intense, as Josh was required to make a series of trips to hospitals and often stay overnight.

His medication also made him extremely vulnerable to infection.

She added: “All of his life, Joshua had been one of the most vibrant, lively and healthy children you would have ever met. To see him so vulnerable and poorly was heartbreaking.”

Josh’s battle with leukemia took a turn for the worse when just two months into treatment he became severely unwell.

After testing it was confirmed he had developed Acute Pancreatitis as a result of the drugs used in treating his leukemia.

His mum described it as the most excruciating pain.

Just two years later he experienced a relapse.

The hospital carried out tests and MRI scans, as doctors initially thought he had developed a bone infection and wanted to rule out a relapse, but unfortunately, this was the case.

The family’s misfortune continued when Josh’s dad Matthew was diagnosed with testicular cancer, requiring him to have a testicle removed.

And although doctors said the operation should not cause any problems in terms of conceiving another child, the couple were left anxious and worried they may never be able to have another baby.

But the doctors were right and the couple were duly ‘blessed’ with a baby boy called Luke, who is now 15 months old.

Victoria was advised by a friend to freeze and save the baby’s umbilical cord, as it could be used if Josh relapsed.

Luckily, baby Luke was a 100 per cent match, meaning the cord could be used during the bone marrow treatment Josh would go on to need.

Victoria and Matthew say Luke (now 15 months old) is their miracle baby, while Josh says he feels ‘really lucky’ to have him as a brother.

Josh is now in hospital following a bone marrow transplant and has spent the last two weeks in intensive care in an induced coma.

The family hopes to raise awareness of leukemia and other childhood cancers, while raising money for the causes and Josh’s treatment.

Family and friends have shown their support and helped raise money through fun runs, the 10k Wolf Run, bake sales, a pie face day at Lawnswood Nursery and a golf day held in honour of Josh.

Team Josh has also raised more than £3,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital through its own fundraising events which have included abseiling, bingo nights and cake sales.

The family is very grateful to all those who have donated and offered their support.

As Josh will continue to make regular trips to the hospital to monitor his health and well-being, his family has launched an online appeal for donations, which will also go towards child cancer charities.

They have raised over £1,800 online and are less than £200 off their target.

To donate visit www.gofundme.com/joshienic

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