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Northumberland schoolgirl who had leukaemia raises blood cancer awareness

Blood samples Photo: PA

By Kris Jepson

Jenna Bradley, eight, from Ovingham, is now in remission after being diagnosed with leukaemia when she was three.

She explained, “I had to have lots of medicines and sometimes I would be scared, but with some of it I didn’t actually know what was happening to me.”

Her family are now trying to raise awareness of the disease and other cancers.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

Her dad, Jonathan Bradley, said as parents he and his wife went into autopilot when their daughter was diagnosed at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Hospital and explained how important it is for parents to be aware of the symptoms.

“Leukaemia can be a very, very insidious disease. It can be overlooked, mistaken for other things, certainly in the early stages. She was starting to get tired, she was starting to get weird, odd cramps in her legs for no apparent reason at all, she turned very pale. Finally what really did it for us was she was starting to get this weird bruising rash down the peripheries of her arms and legs. That’s what catalysed us to see the doctor.”

– Jonathan Bradley, father of Jenna Bradley

According to the charity, Bloodwise, blood cancer kills 38 people everyday and one in 25 people will be diagnosed with it within their lifetime. Yet, according to figures from the charity, only four per cent of people know it is one of the biggest killers.

“Blood cancer is the third biggest cancer killer in the UK. so despite there being some successes, we’ve still got a lot of work to do and people don’t know or understand about the disease so this is the launch of blood cancer awareness month. We want to be able to spread the message about blood cancer so that people can know and understand about the disease and where to come for support and information."

– Diana Jupp, Bloodwise

Leukaemia: What symptoms to look out for: Not everyone will get all, or even any, of the symptoms. Each individual is different, and will have a different experience although some symptoms are common across lots of different types of leukaemia.

  • Tiredness that lasts a long time and doesn’t get better with sleep or rest
  • Breathlessness, even when you’re resting
  • Chest pain
  • People might get infections more often than usual, even if there are no clear signs of an infection.
  • Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Bruising more easily or bleeding from places you wouldn’t normally expect, like your gums or nose, or seeing bleeding in your stools
  • Enlarged glands, which you may notice in your neck but they could be in several places around your body, such as your armpit or groin.

Find out more information on symptoms of the different leukaemias here.