Three-year-old Lawson Dunn was thrilled to switch on the lights at Berwick’s Royal Border Bridge to mark the start of Gold Glow September.
The Eyemouth youngster has almost finished his first year of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
“He had a fantastic time,” said his mum, Samantha.
He was on a family holiday in Scarborough last October when he became ill.
His step-mum Jade woke up one morning to find two bruises on Lawson’s head just above his ears and one of his eyes bloodshot. She got a doctor’s appointment but, while waiting at the surgery, Lawson got worse and came out in a bruised rash which they later found out was due to his platelet count being so low.
He was taken to hospital for tests and told his diagnosis. His blood counts were so bad he didn’t need the usual lumber puncture test that most people need to find out they have leukaemia. Instead, he was rushed to Leeds General Hospital and given a life-saving drug.
“We were in Leeds for one week before being transferred to Edinburgh Sick Kids where he stayed in isolation until Christmas Eve,” recalled Jade. “Lawson caught infection after infection. Even on Christmas Eve we weren’t supposed to get home – Clic Sergeant had a room for both me and his mum to stay in every night.”
Fortunately, Lawson is now on the long road to recovery.
“Lawson gets treatment every two weeks – he has been to theatre around 30-40 times,” said Jade. “He has been so brave but seems to be over the worst. He has three years of chemotherapy treatment left but is back to nursery and running about even though infections still cause a lot of concern. Whenever his temperature reaches above 38 degrees he must be taken straight to hospital.”
Glow Gold September is part of a national campaign by parents to raise awareness of childhood cancer with iconic buildings around the country being illuminated in gold.
They aim to let people know about the early warning signs and symptoms.
With increased awareness, comes earlier diagnosis, increased funding, increased research, kinder more targeted therapy and ultimately a change in the prognosis for kids diagnosed with childhood cancer.