A mother describes her ‘nightmares’ after her son’s disastrous diagnosis caused by excessive thirst.
Rachel Daly began to worry about son Jack, who was just three years old at the time, when he began to lose weight, had no appetite and was constantly drinking and urinating.
The 38-year-old was initially told by doctors that her little boy’s problems were just signs of habit.
But Rachel sensed something else was wrong and decided to take her child to the hospital, Manchester Evening News reports.
It was here that Jack was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis, an extremely rare cancer that affects only four out of a million children in the UK each year.
After receiving the shocking news, Jack was taken to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for treatment. Speaking to Liverpool Echo, Rachel said: “When we first went to the doctors, they told us to come back in two weeks. But within 10 days, she had a really bad turn at the nursery so I told her threw in the car and took him to A&E, where the diagnosis process began.
“It was really a nightmare. I was in such shock. At the time, the disease he was diagnosed with was not even classified as cancer. It wasn’t until a month after his diagnosis that it was.
“There hasn’t been a lot of research or a lot of money spent on this because it’s relatively unknown. So I relied heavily on what I found online and on other people’s stories.”
After a year of chemotherapy and steroid treatment, it looked like Jack was free of the disease. But in February 2018, he missed again due to which Rachel quit her job so that he could take care of her and her younger sister full time.
Rachel said: “Jack’s treatment this time was going to be a lot more intense, he had to be transferred to Elder Hay, so it made sense for me to quit. At the same time, I joined The School for Social Entrepreneurs on Hope Street on LinkedIn Saw an opportunity for a start-up program through Blackburn House.”
Up until this point, Rachel came up with an idea for The PositiveTree — a service that works to improve the mental health of well-being of families who have children who need extra care. She had already set up a personal blog to journal her experience of being an ‘oncology mother’ and wanted to channel all that energy to help other parents in a similar situation.
“We support parents and caregivers who have children with disabilities, special educational needs, and medical conditions,” she said. “We have a peer support network, we have regular group workshops, we offer advice and guidance about the support available.”
“The main essence of this is around the well being of the parent/carer and ensuring that they are taking care of themselves as we have learned the importance of it from our experience. You do an amazing job of taking care of your child and their needs Can’t. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s about reminding parents and caregivers in our community that they are important, too.”
Now, the 38-year-old is being selected for the Merseyside Woman of the Year Awards, which celebrate the achievements of extraordinary women in the region. Speaking about her nomination, Rachel said: “It’s so lovely to be nominated.
“The line up of women who have been shortlisted is incredible so I am very proud to be named among them. It is great that girls from work nominated me.”
More than anything, Rachel is proud of Jack’s recovery and journey, saying: “He’s great, he’s doing really well. He’s our Inspiration Director and he’s already a charity worker as he grows up.” has prepared itself to work for.”
You can find out more about PositiveTree by clicking here.
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