Plea to check for cancer symptoms after 'devastating' diagnosis of Waterlooville boy

A WATERLOOVILLE mum is urging parents to be aware of cancer symptoms after the ‘devastating’ diagnosis of her eight-year-old son.

By Fiona Callingham
Friday, 23rd July 2021, 10:57 am
Updated Friday, 23rd July 2021, 11:42 am
Jake Carson-Blake, 8, from Waterlooville has stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma, before and after his diagnosis
Picture: Ali Carson-Blake
Jake Carson-Blake, 8, from Waterlooville has stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma, before and after his diagnosis Picture: Ali Carson-Blake

‘Well behaved’ Jake Carson-Blake started losing weight and displaying signs of anaemia earlier this year - which mum Ali initially thought to be linked to the fact he was taking iron tablets.

However, as Jake declined, losing weight more rapidly and getting out of breath while walking, doctors told the family in May he had stage four Hodgkin lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system.

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Jake Carson-Blake Picture: Ali Carson-Blake

It was discovered that Jake, who attends Purbrook Junior School, had a mass the size of a plastic bottle in his stomach caused by the disease.

So far Jake has undergone 18 days of chemotherapy over a three-month period, with another three months to go.

But with three areas of his body - his liver, spleen and lungs - not as responsive it is likely he will also need radiotherapy.

His mum Ali, 35, said: The only way to describe it was it felt like a tornado had come into our lives and it ripped everything apart.

Jake Carson-Blake, 8, with mum Ali and dad Nathan Picture: Ali Carson-Blake

‘We were utterly devastated. We just thought it was so unfair - we wanted to be able to take the cancer from him to give to ourselves instead.

‘As parents all you want to do is keep your child healthy and safe and it felt like we had let him down.’

Throughout Jake’s treatment he has suffered with ‘horrendous’ pain from the cancer as well as the effects of chemotherapy.

‘He’s been in excruciating pain at times.’ Ali said.

Jake Carson-Blake, 8, from Waterlooville has stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma. Picture: Ali Carson-Blake

‘It’s so hard to watch. He’s in and out of hospital all the time but he’s been so good with it all.

‘He’s done everything the doctors have told him and he’s never complained about it.’

Now the family has set up a Go Fund Me page with the goal of covering the costs such as travel up to London hospitals and any work lost by his self-employed dad Nathan.

The money will also be spent on creating memories for Jake, such as days out or a holiday with his parents, as well as donations towards the wards at Southampton General Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital that looked after him - with more than £3,700 raised so far.

Ali added: ‘More than anything I want to raise awareness.

‘I never imagined as a parent it was cancer, I think a lot of people would never consider it. We all know the symptoms of things like meningitis but most of us aren’t aware of symptoms of cancer.’

Symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma include the swelling of lymph nodes - most commonly in the neck or armpit, but in Jake’s case in the stomach.

Other symptoms include heavy sweating, high temperatures, rapid weight loss and shortness of breath.

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