Receiving the devastating news that your child has cancer is difficult news for any parent to hear.
It’s a battle Todmorden mum Charlotte Crowther, 49, had to face when her son Oscar was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer three years ago.
Her family’s journey began just before Christmas 2013, when Oscar, now 15, discovered a lump on the side of his neck. It was checked out and a referral to see a paediatrician in the New Year was sent.
Charlotte said: “We enjoyed Christmas, even though Oscar did seem a little quieter he still managed to take part in his passion - stunt scootering.
“On the day he was due back in school he was tearful, lethargic and just not himself.”
A whirlwind of doctors appointments, blood tests, x-rays and neck scans followed and the family were told a biopsy would need to be taken on the lump.
“All of our hopes were pinned on it being a nasty infection,” Charlotte said.
But to their devastation, an MRI scan confirmed the family’s worst fears.
“We then met the doctor, who broke the news that our most amazing, full-of-life boy had a rare form of cancer called Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. We were numb, but we heard every word we were told.”
Oscar, a pupil at Todmorden High School, faced a tough course of treatment ahead of him, including radiotherapy sessions, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
At one point, Charlotte shaved Oscar’s head because he didn’t want to watch it fall out - a side affect of the intense cancer treatment.
But to the family’s relief, Oscar’s cancer hadn’t spread to his bones. Three years on and Oscar is now nearly two years out of treatment and his last scan was a good result.
He is now growing his hair to donate to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which makes real-hair wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment. Money donated will also go to Candelighters, a Leeds-based children’s cancer charity.
The future looks bright for the youngster. His big passion is stunt scootering and he has just been sponsored by prestigious scooter firm MGP.
Charlotte said: “Oscar’s treatment was incredible and we will always be grateful to all the people involved on his journey. Life is different and we will never take anything for granted - we still have our boy.”