Caiden and his Mam sitting on their sofa

Pamela shares the story of her son Caiden's Leukaemia diagnosis aged just 6. 

‘Imagine hearing the words your child has cancer'

Pamela shares her family's story in the hope of helping others benefit from the same support they did. 

After complaining of a bad pain in his side, I took Caiden to get checked out at hospital. Within hours of arriving, I was told he had leukaemia. I was stunned. Caiden was only six years old. He was such a fit and healthy child and loved playing sports. I gave him the tightest hug, but I couldn’t show him I was upset. 

Before we knew it, Caiden’s three-and-a-half-year treatment plan began. He was hooked up to a drip and started steroid treatment before having spinal chemotherapy. It was awful. The pandemic meant only his Dad and I could visit him. The whole experience was so isolating – we had almost no support on the ward until we met Amy from the Irish Cancer Society. She was so amazing and explained to us about the support that was available. We applied for and received a €3,000 grant, which was brilliant. Caiden’s cancer meant I had to give up work, so I don’t know what we’d have done without the grant.

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Everyone going through childhood cancer needs to know about the Irish Cancer Society.

Pamela, Caiden's mum

The chemotherapy affected Caiden’s taste buds, so we used some of the grant to buy food he’d enjoy. Between countless hospital canteen trips and hospital parking charges, the grant from the Irish Cancer Society kept us going through it all – especially the first few horrific months. More recently I’ve used the parent peer support service. Speaking to someone going through the same thing is really reassuring. When Caiden’s treatment has finished I want to become a volunteer to help other parents.  By supporting this essential charity. You could make a huge difference to families like mine.

Colour Dash is back for 2023

Join Colour Dash today and come rain or shine you can be there for families affected by childhood cancer. Colour Dash will take place in Phoenix Park, Dublin on Saturday 12 August, 9.30am sharp.