A teenager who survived cancer as a toddler and was cared for by his mum is now supporting her as she faces her own fight against the disease.
Jack Tonks, aged 15, from Maltby, Rotherham, needed two years of treatment after he was diagnosed with lymphoma when he was three years old.
His mum Jane, 37, had hoped Jack’s good progress through his teenage years had drawn a line under their health worries, but the family was dealt a devastating blow in March this year when Jane was told she had breast cancer.
Jack, a pupil at Maltby Academy, said: “It was such a shock. Mum had told me how badly it affected the family when I had cancer when I was little and it’s so awful she’s having to face up to all this again.
“But we’re here for her. We’re standing up to show mum our support. She’ll beat this disease and we’ll be there to help her, just the same as she was there for me when I faced cancer as a little boy.”
They are promoting the Stand Up To Cancer fundraising campaign run by Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.
It aims to raise money to fund research into new treatments.
Jane, a GP receptionist and mum to Jack and seven-year-old George, found a pea-sized lump in her left breast at the start of this year but it wasn’t until she found a golf-ball-sized lump under her arm in March that she sought help.
She said: “It’s stupid, but life just got in the way of me seeing my doctor sooner. I should have known better. When I did eventually go, I was fast-tracked to hospital and within three days they confirmed my worst fear - it was breast cancer. I started chemo the next week.
“I’m so grateful for the treatment that saved Jack’s life and for the treatment that I’m having. In my darker times I’ve asked ‘why us?’. But mostly I ask ‘why anybody?’. No family should have to go through this and that’s why I’m supporting Stand Up To Cancer. The power of research is so important.”