A seven-year-old boy diagnosed with cancer told his mum and dad that his dream is to go to Disneyland when he gets better.
Leighton Jones was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma leukaemia on December 4. His parents, Danielle and Adam, had been concerned for some time about two lumps that appeared, one on the top of his head, and one behind his ear. Despite repeated visits to the doctor they were told it was nothing to worry about and was probably just a cyst.
Danielle, 28, said: “Two years ago we had been camping. When we came back he had a lump on his head so I thought he must have banged his head. We then spent two years being told different things and that there was nothing to worry about, then another lump appeared behind his ear.”
Finally, in June, he was referred by a specialist for scans and x-rays. He was given an appointment in November. It was this that led to the devastating diagnosis.
Leighton will begin intense chemotherapy on January 11, meaning he will be in hospital for his birthday on January 24. He will spend between four and six weeks at Manchester Royal Childrens Hospital.
Danielle said: “I knew for so long that something wasn’t right. I kept measuring the lump with a tape measure to see how much it had grown.
“It’s very stressful. Ashton could end up with it. I don’t know how I feel about it at the moment. It’s all moving so quickly I’ve not managed to get hold of any emotions yet. I sit up until 3am just wanting to sit and cry.
She added: “It has been taken out of our control, it’s the worst thing for a mum to ever go through. As much as we knew something was up I never thought I would be told my little boy had cancer.”
She said that Leighton had asked if he can go to Disneyland in Florida when he is better. “It’s not in our price range’, said Danielle, ‘so my sister suggested we set up a fundraising page. I feel cheeky doing it.”
Leighton, a pupil at Dove Holes Primary School, made the brave decision to shave off his hair this week. Danielle also plans to cut her long hair short in support.
She said: “I sat and explained to him in a child-like way about the cancer and he’s adjusting well.”
Danielle, who has cerebral palsy, has also had to postpone a muscle lengthening operation that she was due to undergo in January.
Her other son, who has no immune system, will also have to undergo tests to establish whether he has cancer.
A JustGiving page has been set up where donations can be made to the Jones family. To donate log onto JustGivingLeighton.
A total of £6,000 is needed to pay for the dream holiday. So far £195 has been raised in six days.
In a message to supporters, Danielle writes: “Your help would mean the world to us all, it would help to see Leighton smile and laugh, giving him the time to forget, even for just a short time, the difficulties that lay ahead.”