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Mum’s anguish for little Isabel Readey who has aggressive cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma
A DEVASTATED mum has told of the moment she learned that her baby had an aggressive cancer so rare it affects only a handful of children each year.
Tiny Isabel Grace Readey, now 22 months, was rushed to hospital with pneumonia and later diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma – a cancerous tumour of muscles attached to the bones.
Parents Angie and Paul Readey, of York, say their world has been turned upside down as they face the trauma of their daughter receiving intensive chemotherapy at Leeds General Infirmary, where she will face gruelling treatment for at least another 18 months, including radiotherapy and surgery.
Angie, who is due to give birth again within weeks, said she and Paul were battling “immense worry and fear” for Isabel, who “has always been able to light up an entire room with her personality and warm loving nature”. Angie, 37, has been forced to give up her job as a corporate travel consultant and Paul has had to take on a lesser role at work so they can handle Isabel’s full-time care.
Angie is speaking out to raise awareness of Candlelighters, the Yorkshire children’s cancer charity, for whom close friend Deborah Dealing is running the Jane Tomlinson York 10K next month.
Angie said a week after Isabel was discharged, around Christmas, her left calf muscle felt firm then began to swell, and after tests and a CT scan, a tumour was identified. She was referred to Leeds General Infirmary and diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma.
Angie said: “Fewer than 60 children are diagnosed with this type of cancer in the UK each year.
“This type of tumour develops in the soft tissue, which in Isabel’s case is in her left calf. Her tumour is aggressive and has spread into the lymph nodes up her leg and behind her pelvis.”
Angie said she and Paul were “in denial” initially, adding: “As the diagnosis went on the news seemed to get worse and worse as we learned Isabel’s condition had spread and was aggressive.
“As you try to come to terms with things, you feel immense worry, fear, and your world is very quickly turned upside down.
“We can now understand why people ‘battle’ with cancer.
“Although Isabel is very unwell and suffers greatly, she has always been able to light up an entire room with her personality and warm loving nature.
“As long as she continues to show this spark, we will always have our Isabel. We are lucky to be a close family and if it was at all possible this has brought us even closer.”
Deborah said she was “devastated” when she found out about Isabel’s condition.
She said she felt helpless, but decided to run the 10k to raise money for Candlelighters.
To sponsor Deborah, visit: justgiving.com/Sarah-Johnson28