SHE’S recorded every high and low point of a family’s journey after her son was diagnosed with a childhood cancer.
Celine Bowen, 38, of Gosport, has published a book of the blog she started when Joseph, now three, was diagnosed with infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in April 2011, at six months old.
Mrs Bowen, who works for Hampshire Constabulary, kept a blog during the diagnosis, the search for a bone marrow transplant match, and Joseph having treatment.
This was completed last April, and a year on, Mrs Bowen said Joseph is going from strength to strength.
She said: ‘It’s difficult to comprehend we nearly lost him. Although now able to be treated like any other healthy three-and-a-half-year old, we have been advised there is a 50 per cent probability of relapse up to two years post treatment – the fear of his illness returning is still real.
‘Throughout Joseph’s treatment, when his illness allowed it, my husband Steven and I devoted much of our time to raising awareness about childhood cancer and highlighting the work charities like CLIC Sargent does in offering support and guidance to children and families living with the disease.’
The couple have raised nearly £100,000 for charity and 150 police staff and officers in Hampshire Constabulary also joined the bone marrow and stem cell donor register as a result of a force-wide recruitment drive with the Anthony Nolan Trust last year.
‘It was really important for us as a family to try and put a positive spin on what was an exceptionally traumatic and testing time,’ added Celine.
‘The courage, spirit and sheer determination of the many young people and families we encountered was exceptionally humbling.’
‘From the first day Joseph was diagnosed, I kept a daily blog – entitled Joseph’s Journey – detailing the highs and lows of living with childhood cancer from the perspective of a very honest parent.’
The blog had almost 400,000 hits over two years.
The book is on Amazon only. Some proceeds will go to CLIC Sargent, Hannah’s Appeal, The Joe Glover Trust, Rainbow Trust, The Anthony Nolan Trust and Lucy’s Days Out.