THEY may have been struck by cancer twice in just four years, but the Hooker family try to keep smiling through the pain.
First mum Treena Hooker, 53, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2007.
She went through eight months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and managed to overcome it.
But just six weeks ago her 25-year-old son James was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
Despite this the family, from Middle Mead in Fareham, are trying to remain positive and are bidding to raise money for Cancer Research UK and the Red and White Appeal, a Southampton-based project supporting patients suffering from leukaemia.
Treena said: ‘It was absolutely devastating.
‘It was such a shock. It didn’t seem real and came out of the blue. We were absolutely stunned.’
James had been teaching for two years and had just handed in his notice in a bid to travel around the world working on a cruise ship.
But shortly before the end of the school term he started to feel unwell with flu symptoms.
He then discovered a rash on his leg.
After a number of tests, he was told that he had leukaemia and spent five weeks at Southampton General Hospital receiving treatment.
‘It was disbelief,’ he said. ‘I said they must have muddled something up.
‘Mum and I just broke down.’
After her diagnosis, Treena took up running to raise money for cancer charities.
She took part in the Race for Life in Southampton in 2009.
She then went on to run the Great South Run last year with her husband Andy, and this year they plan to take on the Great North Run in Newcastle.
Andy, 56, said: ‘We don’t know if James is going to need a bone marrow transplant or not. Without people volunteering to give blood he might not be able to do that.
‘We want to bring it to everyone’s attention that blood stocks not just for accidents and things, it’s for people suffering from cancer.’
Andy said it was a struggle to deal with the news of James’ diagnosis.
‘There’s that saying that lightning doesn’t strike twice. Well, it does,’ he said.
‘I just broke down. I couldn’t believe it was happening again.’
To sponsor the family, visit getwellsoonjames.co.uk.