It started with a limp but soon turned into a frightening diagnosis of leukemia — a common childhood cancer.
When two-year-old Marley Shaw kept complaining that her leg was sore, her father Charley Straughton took her to the hospital. He expected to learn that she simply had some kind of knee problem, not something as serious as childhood leukemia.Read More
“My partner Charley was with Marley at the Royal Derby Hospital because you’re only allowed one person in with her at a time,” Shaw’s father Callum Shaw told Stoke-on-Trent Live. “I was watching my rugby team play when I got a phone call saying the doctor wanted to see both of us together.”
Jayne Wexler discusses the pressure having a child with cancer can put on a marriage, and how she and her husband got through it.
The revelation that their daughter suffered from childhood leukemia was a terrifying moment for Marley’s parents. “You hear that and you know straight away that it’s not going to be good news. So we just had to prepare ourselves for it and try to think positively,” Callum said. “But that drive to the hospital felt the longest drive I have ever had to make in my life; it was horrible.”
When Shaw’s parents were finally together, they learned that their daughter had childhood leukemia. They received the news just before Christmas, and Marley was set to start her treatment on December 23.
The parents are now proud of how their brave daughter has persevered through her childhood leukemia treatment so far. She will need to undergo bone marrow tests and lumbar punctures, but she is “taking it all in her stride.” Besides bossing the nurses around a bit, Marley has been a “little star.”
Leukemia is a blood cancer that occurs in the early cells in bone marrow that grow into white blood cells. A person with leukemia produces too many of these cells. Because the new cells are abnormal, they don’t help protect against infections and can impede the healthy functions of other cells.
Dr. Nina Shaw breaks down the basics of blood cancers, and how they are different from other forms of the disease.
There are four main subtypes of leukemia. These categories are broken down based on the maturity of the white blood cells they affect, and the type of cells they start from:
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
The main difference between chronic and acute leukemia is that acute leukemia happens when the cancer cells are immature and can’t do their job. Chronic leukemia is when most of the abnormal cells are mature, but they still do not function as healthy white blood cells are supposed to.