A MUM and young son who were both diagnosed with cancer are raising awareness after being given the all clear.
Sarah Best from Warwick discovered she had tongue cancer in 2011 while pregnant with her son Jake.
The 29-year-old feared she would lose her baby while undergoing gruelling radiotherapy treatment, but doctors saved her unborn son by making a protective lead shield.
On her final day of treatment, Sarah – who also had to have part of her tongue removed – gave birth to a healthy baby boy, much to the relief of her and husband Steve.
But five years later their world was shattered when Jake was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma – a rare and aggressive lymphatic cancer – shortly after starting school for the first time.
The youngster had to undergo six months of chemotherapy which also involved having to endure a painful lumbar puncture test – which involves taking fluid from the spine – each week.
Sarah said: “Jake wasn’t eating and his stomach had started to swell but it was almost exactly five years after my cancer so I thought we couldn’t possibly be that unlucky.
“He was so scared and traumatised by the treatment that he had to be sedated for two days. It was heart-breaking, but the hospital staff were amazing.
“It was tough, but I knew what Jake was going through so that helped us get through it together.”
And while the family, who live in Beauchamp Road, say they still worry the cancer may return, they focus on enjoying life and raising awareness of the illness and research carried out by charity Cancer Research UK.
CCTV service engineer Steve said: “It’s thanks to research and advancements in treatment that my wife and son survived.
“Doctors have said it’s unlikely the two cancers are related, so we’ve just been incredibly unlucky.
“Our experience means we understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK’s work is so important, so now we want to do everything we can to highlight the power of research in beating the disease.”
Visit www.cruk.org to find out more about the charity.