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With Fresher’s Flu not long behind us, most students are currently battling their way through one campus-wide bug to another, complaining about a hangover or wondering whether or not we should bother calling the doctors for an appointment now that we can’t get our mums to do it for us. With all of the chaos surrounding our own lives, it can often be hard to consider just how lucky we are.
Today, I would like to introduce you to Jenson Wright. Jenson is a seven-year-old boy who loves watching boxing, superheroes and Sonic the Hedgehog. He also happens to be battling Leukaemia. Cancer is a cruel disease that doesn’t discriminate – anyone, of any age, race, gender and nationality can be diagnosed. But we cannot let it win. We must talk about it, spread the word, raise awareness and donate in the hopes that one day a definitive cure can be found for the thousands upon thousands suffering.
Unfortunately, this is not Jenson’s first fight against the disease. In October 2013, aged just four, Jenson was diagnosed with lymphoma. He began treatment and chemotherapy and, much like the superheroes he loves, came out victorious. However, not long after his last bout of treatment, Jenson diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia – an adult blood cancer that is rarely found in children so young. This time, the treatment is more aggressive and the stakes are higher than ever. And so, the Wright Family have begun round two of their battle against Cancer, with Jenson already having undergone a course of chemotherapy since his diagnosis. He is currently in need of a bone marrow transplant. He is an indescribably strong and brave child – fighting with a smile on his face. Each day, he excitedly waits to receive mail from well-wishers across the globe and covers his room in get-well cards and gifts. He looks forwards to visits to his home where he can watch TV with his dog. He is the kind of child who can light up a room.
However, this time round the treatment is more aggressive than ever, with continuous rounds of injections, bone marrow tests and medication – a daily routine that would terrify most adults. But he will not give up, and neither will we. We all know someone who is suffering cancer – and we’re not going to let it win anymore.
What can we do to help?
- Fundraising- Anything from a bake-sale to sponsored sobriety -any money donated towards cancer research is useful and appreciated.
Jenson’s family also run a personal gofundmepage – https://www.gofundme.com/jensons-journey-to-cure-leukaemia-2vxdpcec.
- Donate Blood- Blood donations can save lives. If you are healthy and able, it takes only a few minutes of your time (and perhaps a little discomfort) to make a huge impact. You can sign up to donate blood on the NHS Website – it is a quick process and your donation can help someone on the journey to recovery. Blood donors are always in demand – Jenson had 10 blood transfusions during his first diagnosis alone.
- Spit it out – Bone Marrow Donation is also high-in-demand – it is incredibly difficult to find matches but absolutely necessary to do so when it comes to saving the life of someone who is suffering. You can sign up to donate online, via the Anthony Nolan register. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive a kit in the post. You simply have to spit into a test tube and then repost to Anthony Nolan – who do all the hard work for you. If you come up as a match, you will be contacted directly.
- Umbilical Cord Donation- Stem cell treatment can also be performed via the use of umbilical chords. If you are pregnant yourself, or know anyone who is, research the reasoning and methods of donation or discuss it with a medical professional. It is not in any way harmful – and can save a life.
- Spread the word – Awareness is always key. Try to make an effort to read Story’s like Jenson’s, to share news reports on research or to raise money and donate where you can. With 1 in 2 people having cancer during their life time, it is no longer a fight that we can let pass us by.
If you wish to continue hearing about Jenson, please visit the Facebook page ran by his mum, entitled ‘Jenson’s Journey’ and follow his story.