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Edward_Lance

Edward Lance

Edward crammed so much life into his 6 years, 3 months and 3 days and when talking to him you would’ve thought he was years older. From very early on it was clear he was going to be a mechanical engineer, an inventor, or some type of scientist. What Edward didn’t know about the Titanic or Lusitania wasn’t worth knowing. One of the highlights of hospital life for him was finding out the Alder Hey ward teacher was the great nephew of a Titanic survivor. 

Our first child Edward narrowly missed being called Cosmo the pet name my bump had acquired after several baby name conversations. We unfortunately lost his twin early in the pregnancy but we settled into family life in Minffordd, North Wales. Edwards daddy worked on the Ffestiniog Steam railway and Edward soon became the expert on the engines and collected the Thomas the Tank models. Little sister Fiona was born when Edward was 13 months old, he toddled around the maternity unit with a helium balloon bobbing from his shorts so we could keep tabs on him in the ward! Edward doted on his sister often picking her up and climbing into her bouncy chair to cuddle her, or to give her his food. The children were soon bilingual learning Welsh in preschool. Edward was the quiet studious one, he enjoyed reading and seeing how things worked. 

In March 1996 Edward felt ill, he had a tummy ache and was always tired so I took him to the doctors. Probably a virus the doctor said. Then unfortunately our marriage broke up and as Edward continued to be ill the doctor said he was just upset about the split. 6 months of appointments and 2nd opinions later and Edward had lost weight, had a large hard tummy, couldn’t walk and was in constant pain. Then a lump appeared on his neck, this time I insisted on having a hospital opinion. 

26th August 1996 a day I will never forget. I went to work as usual, left at lunchtime and picked up Edward from the childminders and drove an hour to Ysbyty Gwynedd. Within an hour I had been told he had cancer and needed to go to Alder Hey in Liverpool. We were whisked away in a taxi, I had no handbag and it was pre mobile phone and internet days. The consultant gave me the change from his pocket! As a bank holiday no scans could be done until the Tuesday. We had no clean clothes not even a tooth brush. The childminder kept Fiona for the weekend and in the end became her full term foster parent for the majority of the next 18 months. I couldn’t have coped without her. He was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma and I was told he probably wouldn’t live for more than 5 years. 5 years!!!? Surely in 5 years a cure would be found wouldn’t it?

18 months of chemo, infections, surgery, scans and tests followed. We hardly went home as it was too far away. Edward never complained, he built up good relationships with his doctors and nurses and took the whole process in his stride. He made water pistols from syringes and skateboards from drip stands. His friends started to die one by one and he did query why they couldn’t be helped. Unfortunately he always seemed to have every side effect and set back along the way. My brother and his Godfather started fund raising to send Edward on his dream holiday to see the large steam trains in South Africa, he was never well enough to go. After the treatment he was pleased that his hair grew back as ginger as it was before, and he was proud to be best man for his Godfather. We planned our first foreign holiday when Edward was told he was in remission on 4th November 1997. 

20th January 1998. One week into our holiday in Teneriffe and Edward said ‘Mummy my lump is back in my neck’. I had clung on to the 5 year prediction, this was less than 5 months. Edward had relapsed. After a final visit to Alder Hey we were introduced to Hope House in Oswestry. Edward struggled on in pain for 6 weeks. He managed to attend Fiona’s 5th birthday party and celebrated St Davids day in the hospice. At 8pm on 2nd March 1998 with his dad and sister Edward climbed up on my lap to take his last breath. Edward was cremated in his Best Man out fit with his Toby tram engine, his favourite Telly Tubby Po and a single daffodil. 

It is our wish that we honour Edward's memory by creating a memorial fund in his name that can be used, through Families Against Neuroblastoma, to offer other children and families the support they need to get through Neuroblastoma, and together with other like minded families, we can build a fund that can offer a life line to any child that may need it. By working together we can also provide funds for much needed research into Neuroblastoma in the hope that a cure can be found.

Please support us by donating to Edwards's fund, or by joining Team Edward where you will not only be making a valuable contribution to our cause, but also joining with us to celebrate and  honour of the life of our amazing son, Edward.

 

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