For Charlie, all of a sudden, his sister was nowhere to be seen. They did everything together and then, just like that, weren’t allowed to see each other at all.”

Five year old Jasmine was diagnosed with a rare aggressive brain tumour in November 2021. She has since had multiple brain surgeries, intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Unfortunately the surgeries have left Jasmine with Posteria Fossa Syndrome, a type of brain injury impacting her speech and mobility.

A child’s cancer diagnosis impacts the whole family and that’s why PASIC is there to support everyone, including siblings. We spoke with Jasmine’s mum, Aneeta, about the impact her diagnosis has had on her brother Charlie.

“Charlie and his little sister Jasmine are only 14 months apart,” says Aneeta. “They did everything together prior to the diagnosis and love each other so much.”

It was the day before Charlie’s fifth birthday when the family received the devastating diagnosis. Jasmine was taken by ambulance to Nottingham Children’s Hospital. She didn’t return home for five months.

“Our lives were changed forever that day,” says Aneeta. “It was the height of Covid. The rules on the ward were one parent at a time and no siblings or visitors. Jasmine couldn’t see both parents together and Charlie and Jasmine were not allowed to see each other at all.”

Both Aneeta and her husband Dickon had to give up work to balance caring for Jasmine and Charlie.

“Charlie was only five, he didn’t understand what was happening. He saw his sister on video calls and you could see the shock and confusion in him. He would ask about the wires and why she wasn’t talking. He was more upset when Jasmine lost her hair than she was.”

I could see the feel and hurt that he felt for her.”

After a five month stay at Nottingham Children’s Hospital Jasmine spent two weeks at home before being moved to Manchester for 8 weeks proton beam therapy treatment. This left Aneeta and Dickon making the difficult decision to take Charlie out of his school so the family could go together.

I couldn’t bear for us all being apart.”

“We left every morning on a 30 minute drive to the proton beam centre and only one parent was allowed in. Charlie would have to wait three hours for Jasmine to finish treatment. He spent so much time hanging around in corridors with one parent, while the other was inside with Jasmine.

“I felt like I was neglecting Charlie’s needs. When I was at home with him I was exhausted, I couldn’t give him the attention he deserved. It was so easy to sit him in front of the telly when we were so stressed and tired. He missed out on quality family time.”

How has PASIC helped?

“Without PASIC there would have been an even bigger hole in our lives. Our Support Worker Joanna was by our bedside from almost day one. Without this support, life on the ward would have been even more isolating.

“PASIC treated us like we were part of the family and gave us hope. The gifts at the bedside, financial support, listening service, check-ins, signposting, the events and surprises through the post have meant so much.

“Every time we saw our Support Worker she would ask about Charlie. Every time Jasmine had something from PASIC, they’d give something for Charlie too.”

It felt so nice to take things back for Charlie because he was used to people giving Jasmine things and getting nothing. PASIC made him feel included.

“PASIC trips have been so nice. The first chance we’ve had to do something fun together as a family. Charlie has been treated equally, poorly children and their siblings, never made to feel left out.”

The video below shows Charlie being reunited with Jasmine in a hospital corridor after months apart:

Jasmine continues to receive treatment for her brain tumour and PASIC will continue to be there, for her, her parents and, of course, Charlie.