February 4th is World Cancer Day, created to raise awareness of cancer, educate others on its treatment and detection, and encourage its prevention. Below is a story from Fraser’s mum, Louise, who would like to share what her family went through.
In the summer of 2022, during the middle of Fraser’s summer holidays, Louise began to realise that Fraser wasn’t quite himself. He had stopped eating, looked pale and had no energy. Described as the Wild Child – running wild here, there, and everywhere – it wouldn’t be until the family took a trip to their favourite holiday park, that his mum noticed something wasn’t right.
“Instead of running wild at the beach, he just wanted to sit on his iPad, and at the disco parties at night, he would just be stuck to my hip – he was just not himself and this went on for weeks.”
Louise had taken Fraser back and forth to the doctors, to be told what he had was viral and be sent home with antibiotics. Louise knew there was something more to Fraser’s illness, as he just wasn’t getting better.
“The next morning, he was severely unwell and became breathless and lethargic. We went to A&E where they took an x-ray. The x-ray revealed a huge mass in his chest and fluid around his heart and lungs. Fraser was then rushed to the ICU in Glasgow. This is where he was then diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukaemia.”
Fraser spent 6 weeks in Glasgow Children’s Hospital, where he had weeks of intense chemotherapy. The family then returned to home, where Fraser continued his treatment at Royal Aberdeen’s Children’s Hospital.
“He has done 9 months straight of intense chemotherapy, where we would sometimes be in hospital every day for a few weeks at a time.
Fraser went through a lot, he had 4 Hickman line infections, sepsis, a fungal lung infection, and also a big reaction to platelets.”
In April 2023, Fraser and his mum finally got the news that he was now in maintenance therapy. This means he would just need to go to hospital once a month for chemotherapy and could finally go back to school after missing it for 9 months. Fraser will finish his treatment in December this year.
Fraser is now 6 years old and loves nothing more than drawing and gaming!
“Fraser is a big gamer and loves his X-Box, he dreams of becoming a YouTuber – he also loves playing toy kitchen with his 3-year-old sister, Freya!”
Fraser is also set to take centre stage at Archie’s Variety Show at the Tivoli Theatre on 4th May, dancing alongside the Archie mascot! He is excited to follow in the footsteps of his mum, Louise.
“I did loads of shows when I was younger, and he’s seen pictures of me, so he wants to do the same. And because he has missed out on 9 months of school and interaction with other children, he’s excited to mingle with other kids who are going through their own challenges.”
Louise describes how Archie was there for her and her family during Fraser’s treatment by providing emergency grants and using Archie’s Family Centre.
“The Archie Foundation has helped us with grants when I was struggling as I had to stay away from home. They also helped fund a good car seat for Fraser after I passed my driving test, as I also have my daughter to buy a car seat for too. My daughter and their dad stayed in the parent’s accommodation too.”