Around 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma every year in the UK, with nearly half categorised as 'high-risk', a diagnosis that's even more challenging to treat.

Claire’s daughter Poppy was just four years old when she was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in July last year, and their world was turned upside down. Claire shares her experience of finding out about Poppy diagnosis below.

“Writing these words is extremely difficult as it makes it all so real. At the beginning of the very first lockdown, I had just given birth to Poppy’s brother when she started complaining of leg pain. I booked a phone appointment with our GP - because of Covid - and a blood test revealed low iron in Poppy. We thought that explained everything, but the GP called back, worried and wanting to see Poppy in person. After the appointment, we were sent to Bedford hospital. Several blood tests and scans later, it was revealed Poppy had a tumour wrapped around her heart that was pushing down on one of her lungs. We were told straight away it was cancer. Our world came crashing down in minutes.

We were unable to comprehend what was happening. We refused to believe it at first. Poppy was sent in an ambulance with her dad to Addenbrookes Hospital. Due to Covid, only one parent was allowed at hospital at a time, and the next day Ross and I swapped.

That evening, her consultant gave us her full diagnosis, Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. The initial tumour had unfortunately spread to her bone marrow. I told the consultant I didn't want to know statistics on survival rates etc. as I needed to stay positive. I had to return to Poppy's bedside with a smile on my face and try to avoid her questions of when she would be going home.”

A huge thank you to Claire for sharing her story with us. You can read more about Poppy's campaign here: https://justgiving.com/campaign/princesspoppy  

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth