AN Enniskillen girl will have an extra special reason to celebrate this Christmas as she marks one year since she finished her treatment for leukaemia and took her first steps to recovery.
Kerri Roche (9) was diagnosed in September 2013 shortly after returning to school. She had taken ill over the weekend with a high temperature and pale complexion, but her mum Trudi and dad Stephen were not overly worried. However after her GP sent Kerri to hospital for tests, the family got the news that every parent dreads – Kerri had leukaemia.
Now Trudi is urging the people of Fermanagh to don their Christmas jumpers this year in support of Cancer Fund for Children, who supported the Roche family during Kerri’s treatment along with many other local families affected by cancer.
Trudi told the Herald: “When Kerri was diagnosed, it was a complete shock to the system. We thought she maybe had a viral infection with just being back at school. We never in a million years expected it to be cancer. It was absolutely devastating. We were immediately worried because Kerri is a twin and we thought it could be hereditary, and that her brother Ryan could be affected too, but thankfully he wasn’t.”
Trudi said no time was wasted in getting Kerri started on her treatment: “The hospital took her straight in for a blood transfusion that night, and then that was her in for almost four weeks of treatment. Everything changed, it was a very stressful time for us as a family.”
Kerri finished her cancer treatment last November and is gradually returning to normal life. The Roche family are now urging people to sign up to Cancer Fund for Children’s All Wrapped Up Christmas fundraiser, so that other families can benefit from the support the charity provides.
Trudi added: “We’re very aware that we’ve been very lucky as a family, and that Kerri is making good progress. Unfortunately there are families out there whose children are very ill, and whose cancer journey may have more ups and downs than ours.
“That’s why we want as many people as possible to support Cancer Fund for Children this Christmas, so that in the future, families like ours don’t have to face cancer alone.”
Cancer Fund for Children’s All Wrapped Up fundraiser is the perfect excuse to bring work colleagues, friends, club members, church or class mates together and have a bit of festive fun in your Christmas jumpers, while also raising money for local families whose lives have been devastated by cancer.
For more information visit www.cancerfundforchildren.com or call 9080 5599.
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