Posted on Thursday 27 May 2021
Young Lives vs Cancer supported dad of two James Buse cope when he was reeling in shock after his young son Jack was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Here he tells Jack’s story:
“It was early 2012 when my son Jack was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, aged two-and-a-half. It was a massive, massive shock to the system.
“I always used to think when people said ‘their world falls apart’: what the hell does that mean? But when I was told the news, I actually just sat there in shock, not knowing what to say or do. You just feel suddenly incredibly helpless, like someone’s just punched you in the stomach and you’ve got no air to breath. You think, ‘Surely this can’t be happening to us? It can’t be happening to our son.’
“The emotion at the start is just shock and adrenaline and ‘We just need to stay positive here’. At that time there is no real anger. You just focus on what’s happening now, day by day, week by week, just getting him though, making sure he’s OK.
“Jack had his third birthday at Great Ormond Street Hospital and he couldn’t eat anything because he had this awful disease where the chemotherapy burns literally everything from your mouth to your bum. So, on his birthday he couldn’t eat any of the ambulance-shaped cake my mum had baked that Jack really wanted.
“The day when the doctors said to us ‘Everything’s ok, he’s strong enough now to go home’, we almost collapsed. We all had a big hug together but there was no celebrating, no jumping up and down. I just suddenly felt really tired, really exhausted, it suddenly just hit me. I was elated but just drained, physically and mentally drained.
“Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent) helped us with loads of support in 2012 in Great Ormond Street Hospital. They were a great support showing us benefits we were eligible for, but too embarrassed to claim as Jack wasn’t disabled, just ill. They explained what we needed and how much worse it would get. These conversations and emotional support helped us so much in the long term to establish a clear mind to plan out what we needed to do to survive mentally and to manage the financial impact too. Just having the time to talk ensured we survived both as parents while in complete shock. Young Lives vs Cancer is magnificent!”
Watch Jack announce a major milestone for Young Lives vs Cancer’s partnership with Morrisons:
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