As regular readers of this blog will know my four and a half year old nephew, Jacob, has cancer and recently had a operation to remove the tumor. The operation went as well as anyone could have hoped for and ‘Jake’ was soon feeling well enough to declare he was hungry, something he hasn’t said for many months. Pretty soon the post-op chemo and radiotherapy will begin. The picture below was taken over the weekend and the post below was written by Louise. The text is taken from a web page she created in order to collect sponsorship for a run she is doing to raise money for cancer research here in the UK.

If you had asked me about Childhood Cancer just three months ago, I wouldn’t truly have been able to tell you a thing about it.

I may have said “do you mean Leukemia?”, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what Leukemia is, or how it is treated. And I wouldn’t have known that there are actually different types of childhood Leukemia, requiring different treatment racemes.

How life changes in just three months… in fact how life changes in the matter of minutes, because three months ago, my own son Jacob, who is just four years old, was diagnosed as having a form of childhood Cancer. Not Leukemia, but another type of cancer called Neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor that begins in the neural crest cells. These versatile cells help form the nervous system amongst other things. Neuroblastoma means “Neuro” = nerve and “blastoma” = cancer in immature cells.

Like a lot of children diagnosed with this appalling condition Jacobs Tumor started in his Tummy, between his kidney and Liver. The disease then spread in to his bone marrow.

When we were told Jacob had cancer all I can remember feeling was fear. Plans that we had made for the future were shattered. Everything in life suddenly felt uncertain…and still does. You can’t imagine life will ever be the same again. Life becomes full of ifs, buts and maybes. That feeling of fear is still with me now, and I don’t suppose it will ever leave, but that’s what living with Cancer is like.

In the UK alone there are around 285,000 cases of cancer diagnosed each year. More than 1 in 3 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. These are shocking statistics, but thanks to the work of charities such as Cancer Research UK progress is being made, from finding out what causes cancer and investigating how to prevent it, to improving diagnostic test and developing more effective treatments. Even our own son is taking part in a clinical trial to try to help discover the most effective treatment for his condition.

98% of men with testicular cancer are now successfully treated. Almost two thirds of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer are likely to survive for at least twenty years. And 7 out of 10 children with cancer are now successfully treated. These statistics are an improvement compared with ten years ago, we are naturally praying that our Jacob is one of those lucky 7.

On 28 September this year I will be taking part in Cancer Research UK’s “Run10k” (that’s 10 kilometers… or just under seven miles for those of us who only do miles!) it’s my way of repaying all the amazing individuals who have looked after our son, for the very worth while work they do. My goal is to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK and I am extremely grateful for any donations that you feel you can give, however big or small.

Jacob is still receiving treatment for his condition on the pediatric Oncology ward at Addenbrooks hospital in Cambridge. Unfortunately we still don’t know what the future holds for him, but he continues like so many of the children on C2 to show extraordinary courage which is truly humbling. All the children endure awful side affects from the treatment, but they don’t seem to moan or grumble, they just get on with it taking it all in their stride, and for that reason alone I think they’re all pretty amazing!

Written by Louise Marshall.

You can sponsor Louise as she does the Run10k by visiting her sponsorship page at She’s also very grateful, as are Bryan and Sumalee, for the continued prayers and support of everyone out there who is hoping and praying for Jacob to make a complete recovery.