Luke, 3, from Newcastle
Luke’s mum, Fiona, first noticed that something was wrong when she was in the park with Luke and his brother, Matthew, and Luke’s eyes started rolling back inexplicably.
After many scans and calls to NHS Direct, it was finally discovered that Luke had a brain tumour (optic pathway glioma).
He was put on a long course of chemotherapy, but he developed an allergy to the drug that was being used and lost his sight. In early 2012, Luke had a scan and found that the tumour had shrunk by 15%. Fiona said: “Losing his sight has made it quite hard for Luke to keep his concentration and he gets frustrated sometimes.”
Luke’s five-year-old brother, Matthew, is becoming more inquisitive about Luke’s condition, asking lots of questions about the tumour. He often visits the hospital with his parents and is very supportive of his little brother.
Fiona and the family were introduced to their CLIC Sargent Social Worker, Karen, soon after Luke’s diagnosis and they have maintained a very close relationship ever since.
Fiona said: “To be honest I’d never heard of the charity, but Karen talked us through her role and she was just perfect from the start. She got to know what we did and didn’t need. She gave us information booklets for Matthew and his grandparents so they all understood what was happening.”
“I can’t speak more highly of Karen. She did all those little things like making sure the consultants are around when you need them, or dropping you an email or text to see if you’re ok. It’s great to be able to just send her a text or an email back and act like a friend with her. She’s just lovely and very sensible. She’s made an impossible journey possible."