Smiling through adversity

Thea Clarke is 13 and lives in Reading. She loved to play football, enjoyed playing the drums, listening to music and going to school at the Willink School in Burghfield.

In January 2014 she fell and hurt her leg. The pain persisted and the usual Doctors appointments followed. She was consequently misdiagnosed until September 2014 when the family received the shattering news that she had Ewing Sarcoma, which was present in her femur.

Ewing Sarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer. It most commonly affects people between the ages of 10 to 20 years old. It’s an aggressive form of cancer and requires intensive treatment. As a result of diagnosis Thea underwent an operation to harvest eggs and ovarian tissue and insert a Hickman line. She then underwent intensive chemotherapy for 18 weeks.

In March 2015 she had an operation to remove bone and tissue and insert a metal knee joint, which was screwed into her tibia and femur. Thea is undergoing consolidation chemotherapy for another 24 weeks.

The John Sykes Foundation became aware of Thea’s plight and decided to help. Whilst undergoing treatment Thea has been struggling with school work and being able to get on with any kind of normal life, she’s constantly having treatment and in and out of hospital.

When the foundation discovered that Thea wanted an ipad plans were made to bring a smile to her face. Representatives from the foundation went to meet Thea and listen to her story. As a result the foundation were able to present Thea with an ipad air.

Thea was absolutely thrilled and said, “Thank you so so much for my iPad. I love it!

The foundation recently worked with the organisers of Reading Festival to get Thea along to see her favourite bands. Around her intense treatment programme she was able to get along to the Friday of the Festival and had an amazing day seeing bands she loved. Thea’s Mum said, “Thank you for organising the day at Reading – Thea had a great time and it rocked!!!”

Thea has ongoing treatment and the foundation hope to support her through such a difficult time.

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