In March 2014, aged 4, Alice was diagnosed with Wilm’s tumour, a type of kidney cancer. After 6 weeks chemotherapy to shrink the tumour, Alice underwent life threatening surgery to remove one of her kidneys and the tumour.
By January 2015, following nine months of further chemotherapy and radiotherapy, her scans were looking good and clear. Her mum recalls she had six months of normality, in which it seemed Alice’s cancer had gone into remission.
However, a scan in July 2015 revealed a further growth in Alice’s lungs. It was Wilm’s again.
The treatment for relapsed Wilms is much more aggressive. Alice underwent 7 rounds of chemotherapy including high dose chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant. Finally in August 2016 Alice’s treatment ended with 10 radiotherapy sessions. During her treatment Alice was very ill, she experienced infections, sickness and her immune system was wiped out.
Whilst Alice was in Nottingham Children’s Hospital, mum, Jane met Joanna, PASIC Family Support Worker. Jane said: “Jo was so lovely and non-intrusive. She would sit with Alice so I could grab a coffee or just have a chat with me when I was on my own. It was such a difficult time in our family’s life. Especially, for Alice and her brother. So when we found PASIC, we found another family. Everyone we met, from the staff to the families participating became a support network for us. More importantly, the group offered our children an opportunity to spend quality time with one another outside of a hospital, as well others their age in fun and relaxed environments.”