When Diane, our Chair Person at Daniel Barnett Arts Foundation heard about 12 year old Jack Cooper and the difficult time he’d had since being diagnosed with Leukaemia last year, she really wanted the charity to be able to do something special for him to enjoy. We were delighted when we managed to get hold of two X Factor live show tickets for Jack and his sister Beth.
They had an amazing time and although they weren’t allowed to take pictures during the show, they managed to get some before hand. We’re so glad that you enjoyed yourself guys!
Please read Jacks story below, told by his mum, Justine –
Jack is 12 years old. When he was 11, on the evening of the 25th of May 2016, Jack was diagnosed with Leukaemia. It took less than a week for a healthy, active boy to fall ill and be diagnosed. The following day he went to theatre to have a bone marrow biopsy to determine which strain of Leukaemia he had. While he was down they also gave him a lumbar puncture which they gave him chemotherapy straight into his spinal fluid and fitted a Broviac line into his chest, that is inserted into the large vein leading directly to the heart. Which would be used to give Jack his chemotherapy. The following day we were told that Jack was one of a small percentage that had a hybrid of the two types of Leukaemia. So, it effects both his red and white blood cells. We were told there is not a specific treatment for this type of Leukaemia. If the treatment didn’t work he would have to have a bone marrow transplant (in which they were thinking more than likely we would go down this route) His sister was tested and found she was a match. So, Jack would start by having the treatment that normally treats children with ALL (the Leukaemia that effects the white blood cells). After a week of treatment, he went for another biopsy. This found the treatment Jack was on wasn’t working. So, Jack then started on the treatment that would normally be used for people with AML (the Leukaemia that effects the red blood cells). This is a more intensive treatment that has more severe side effects. After a month of treatment Jack went down for another biopsy to find out if the treatment was being effective. Thankfully it was. This treatment lasted for 6 months. In this time Jack lost all his hair had lots of blood and platelet transfusions, lots of hospital visits, temperatures and at times felt generally unwell. He managed to stay clear of having an NG tube (Nasogastric feeding tube) which was his goal. This was all happening when Jack should have been enjoying the last few months of year 6 at primary school. And all the activities they had planned to celebrate this. Then the transition into secondary school.
He finished this treatment in October. With having the 2 types Jack then he went on to maintenance treatment for ALL. This consists of finding the right dosage of 2 types of tablet form chemotherapy. This is taken daily. While finding the dosage right for Jack, he had a spell in hospital. The chemo was affecting his liver and made him really poorly. They adjusted his treatment and he managed to recover well from this. While Jack has been on chemotherapy his blood counts go up and down sometimes this means they have to lower or even take him of treatment. Jack has gone back to school in this time and we have managed to up his time there. Although he is doing most days he’s not ready for full time yet.
The first week of the summer holidays this year he suffered with shingles. This was awful to see Jack in so much pain. We stayed in hospital for a week and this really got Jack down. Once he started to recover he was also gutted that he had got it in the school holidays and not in school time. I think because he had done so well for a while he was thinking he’d got through the worst of it. Then this struck.
Most people who don’t know Jack could see him and not know all what he has gone through or going through as often he looks well. It’s not until your faced with this and you see what it does to them physically, emotionally and socially. Obviously, we see what he’s like now and the difference this has made to him even when he’s having a good day.
He can generally feel unwell more often than not but he always has a smile on his face. A smile he is known for. Jack finishes his treatment in June 2018 we can now see a light at the end of the tunnel. There is always a thought but happens if it comes back?