A West Lynn mum is urging parents to follow their instincts after her 14-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer.
Teresa Rains knew something wasn’t right with her eldest child Jonny, who was diagnosed with eczema last June.
After pushing for further tests, the family were shocked when Jonny was diagnosed with Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia three months later.
“If we hadn’t pushed, we would have been none the wiser,” said Mrs Rains, 46.
“I would’ve hated to see what could’ve happened if we hadn’t. I would say to parents, follow your instincts if something isn’t right, don’t leave it or wait.”
In a bid to give the family something to look forward to and as a birthday boost for Jonny, who turned 14 last Friday, Mrs Rains’ sister launched a fundraising appeal.
And, in just a few days, more than £10,000 has been raised for a trip to Florida for Jonny’s 16th birthday in two years.
The appeal was set up by Melanie Day “to put a smile on his face” as Jonny undergoes intensive chemotherapy.
She said since the diagnosis, Jonny had spent most of the time in hospital, but never complained or moaned.
Mrs Rains, a support worker, said she noticed Jonny’s symptoms last June.
“We noticed lymph nodes come up on the back of his neck and then he got a rash on his face, neck and shoulders and his eye lids were swollen,” she said.
Mrs Rains got in touch with a GP but because of the pandemic, she was asked to send in pictures of the rash and steroid cream was prescribed.
The rash went down initially and the family went on holiday to Cornwall but afterwards, Jonny started to have dizzy spells and began having trouble with his knees.
After two days back at St Clement’s High School, in Terrington St Clement, Mrs Rains got a call from the school to say Jonny was very tired and dizzy.
“I took him straight to hospital. I thought he might have glandular fever,” she said.
That evening, Mrs Rains and husband Johnny were shocked to learn their son had leukaemia and had to go to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for treatment.
After being in hospital for three months, Jonny returned home on his 14th birthday,
“It’s been hard. As a mum, I have been on autopilot being at hospital and helping Jonny to not be scared. But Jonny has laid back and taken everything the doctors have given him.
“He has never moaned and is pleased to be back on his PlayStation and speak to his friends,” said Mrs Rains.
She said the family, including Jonny’s sister Daisy, 12, had been “overwhelmed” with the donations on the fundraising page.
Although the initial £10,000 target has been met, the page will remain open for people who may still wish to donate.
The money will pay for gifts for children on the wards where Jonny has been treated – Rudham Ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and C2 Ward at Addenbrooke’s.
Mrs Rains added: “The people of King’s Lynn have been fantastic and I can’t thank everyone enough.”
To make a donation, visit ttps://www.gofundme.com/f/jonny-rains-trip-of-a-lifetime-16th-birthday