Gloucestershire father and son battle cancer and raise £3,000 for charity
BATTLING cancer can be difficult for any family, but one mum has had to watch both her husband and son fight the disease.
Primary school teacher Miranda Wantling saw her husband Andrew treated for a rare lymphoblastic lymphoma nine years ago.
After 18 months, the 48-year-old accountant had recovered thanks to a stem cell transplant.
But in December 2010, her son James was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
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The 13-year-old student at Pate's Grammar School is still in the midst of treatment for the disease, but Miranda said her son had gained strength throughout his recovery from his dad.
The family, from The Reddings, spent Christmas 2010 and Boxing Day – James' birthday – in Bristol Children's Hospital after the diagnosis.
Nearly two years later, he still has to take medication every day and undergoes monthly chemotherapy under a course of treatment that will continue until April 2012.
The 46-year-old mum said: "The treatment has been very tough at times, but James has managed to keep up with school work and stay in touch with friends.
"We know only too well how cancer affects a family.
"We were told there is no link between the two cancers my husband and son have been treated for and the chances of this happening are extremely low.
"I don't know the exact odds, but we were told there was more chance of winning the lottery."
The family, including the couple's other children Amelia, 21, and Eleanor, 19, and Philip, 16, said they have received vast amounts of support from charities throughout their ordeal.
Help from CLIC. for example, enabled them to spend Christmas together after James' diagnosis.
To return the favour of those who helped, Andrew has embarked on fundraising campaigns, including running the London Marathon, the Bristol half marathon and triathlons, donating more than £3,000 to charity.
Miranda added: "It was very hard to go there for the second time, but it did mean that we knew what to expect in terms of treatment.
"The fact that Andrew has been through a very similar treatment has given James and the rest of the family a lot of strength.
"Although his treatment is continuing, James still tries to get to school every day and lead a full life."
James, who loves music and plays the piano and violin, has had to stop rugby and other contact sports but hopes to resume them when his treatment ends in two years.
Miranda added: "We all want to acknowledge the support we have had and we wanted to get involved in this new campaign to raise money to accelerate groundbreaking research which is making a difference."
The family are donning wristbands to support Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 with a new fundraising campaign called Stand Up To Cancer.
Wristbands in support of Stand Up To Cancer are on sale in Tesco, TKMaxx and the Cancer Research UK shop.