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  1. ITV Report

Twin baby girl diagnosed with cancer had tumour the size of one of her kidneys

Emilie Jones (left), was diagnosed with a form of cancer called neuroblastoma. She's pictured with her twin sister Elsie.

Laura Jones, from Swansea, knew something was wrong with one of her twin daughters as soon as she was born.

The 31-year-old mother said that while baby Elsie was placid, sister Emilie was screaming and crying in pain almost constantly.

After scans were carried out, it was discovered that Emilie had a large tumour in her stomach which turned out to be a rare cancer called neuroblastoma.

Emilie needed chemotherapy to shrink the tumour.

The tumour was the same size as one of her kidneys and was pushing against the nerves in her spine.

We were told the pain she was experiencing was the same as sciatica pain. The consultant said she had never seen anything like it in her 30-year career.

– Laura Jones
Harrison Jones with his twin sisters.

Emilie was diagnosed at seven weeks old.

Laura and her husband Jonathan, are also parents to seven-year-old Harrison.

They had been trying for a second baby for five years.

We fell pregnant really quickly with Harrison, so assumed it would be really easy the second time around.

We found out I had problems ovulating, so we decided to try IVF.

– Laura Jones

The third round of IVF worked and the couple were told they were expecting twin girls.

After going through so much to have another baby, it felt even more devastating when Emilie was diagnosed with cancer.

– Laura Jones

Baby Emilie was rushed for emergency surgery at Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales to start her treatment.

She had surgery on her spine to remove pressure on her spinal cord before having four rounds of chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour.

The family are now waiting for Emilie’s next scan in December to see how the tumour has responded to treatment.

Right now the risk is too great for her to have the tumour removed as it could leave her paralysed.

We just have to wait and see if the chemotherapy is working which is the hardest thing. She may not need any further treatment which is what we’re hoping for.

– Laura Jones

Laura and Jonathan are keen to raise awareness of neuroblastoma which affects around 100 children each year in the UK.

The family has been chosen to launch Cancer Research UK’s Kids & Teens Star Awards in Wales.

The awards celebrate the strength shown by youngsters who have been diagnosed with and treated for cancer.

We had never heard of neuroblastoma before so we’re really keen to raise awareness to help find new treatments.

Emilie has been so brave and smiles every single day. I remember being in bits at hospital and she just looked at me and smiled.

I thought to myself, if she can be positive and smile with everything that’s going on, so can I.

– Laura Jones

What is neuroblastoma? (NHS)

  • Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer that mostly affects babies and young children.
  • It develops from specialised nerve cells (neuroblasts) left behind from a baby's development in the womb.
  • Neuroblastoma most commonly occurs in one of the adrenal glands situated above the kidneys, or in the nerve tissue that runs alongside the spinal cord in the neck, chest, tummy or pelvis.
  • It can spread to other organs such as the bone marrow, bone, lymph nodes, liver and skin.
  • It affects around 100 children each year in the UK and is most common in children under the age of 5.
  • The cause is unknown. There are very rare cases where children in the same family are affected, but generally neuroblastoma doesn't run families.