Mum's heartbreak 'I thought my son was being bullied, but his bruises were a symptom of cancer'
Claire Boxall wasn't prepared for the devastating diagnosis
Editor / December 17 2018
A devastated mum assumed her son was being bullied when he came home from school with bad bruising - but then discovered they were a sign of cancer.
Heartbroken Claire Boxall first became concerned for her 8-year-old son Lee's health when he came home from school one day with countless bruises on his body and two black eyes.
"He came home black and blue - with purple dots all over his arms - and I went to see his headteacher, Claire told inews.
But then Lee, from the UK, became very sleepy and had no energy and his worried mum rushed him to the doctors. After a series of tests, she was given the news that he was suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - an aggressive type of cancer which commonly affects white blood cells in the bone marrow.
What's more, Lee's white blood cell count was so high that doctors said he only had 24 hours to live if he wasn't immediately put into a medically-induced coma.
During his one month coma, Lee also suffered from a stroke as well as two bleeds on his brain which left him unable to walk or talk.
It took almost a year to get him walking again and he had to learn to talk all over again. He still has weakness on his left side.
"But he had intense chemotherapy and we had the best news - his cancer was gone."
Following this successful round of treatment, doctors hoped Lee could have a bone marrow transplant to rekick his immune system and prevent his cancer coming back in future.
However, there was more bad news to come.
Lee sadly relapsed with the cancer spreading to his brain and spinal fluid.
"It was a devastating blow as he thought it had gone," revealed mum Claire.
Going in for another round of chemotherapy, Lee's cancer sadly only became more aggressive, and now he's facing a huge battle as his body won't cope with chemotherapy again. His parents are hoping to pay for a trial in America with a new drug that seems to be his only hope.
Aware of the seriousness of his condition, the desperate mum added: "He cries every night and says he doesn't want to leave me, his dad or his big sister.
"It's a lot of money to raise for the treatment but we can't give up on him."
Frances Sheen has been a magazine and website journalist & editor for the last 20 years - both in Australia and the UK. She's appeared on countless TV and radio shows to discuss parenting and launched her own social media parenting brand. She's the mum of two little girls and juggles that with a busy working life.