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Adam Price

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Adam Price

I first knew something wasn’t quite right when Adam came home from school covered in bruises. My gut instinct told me that they weren’t just from kids being kids in the playground.

Jo Price’s son, Adam, was diagnosed with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) when he was just four years old. He was normally a playful and happy child but had begun complaining of feeling tired and not wanting to play. Jo and her husband, Jeff, just put it down to the excitement of the Christmas holidays and having to go back to school after two weeks off and thought he’d be okay once he got back into a routine.

When Adam came home from school with a bruise on his forehead, Jo asked him how he’d gotten it, but Adam didn’t know. As he didn’t seem out of character or poorly, the family continued their evening as normal.

“It was only when we got to bedtime and we were helping Adam to change into his pyjamas that we realised the extent of the bruising,” says Jo. “They were all over his torso, legs and even his toes and fingers. We instantly thought he was being bullied, but Adam denied this was the case and we believed him. We racked our brains thinking of others things that might be causing this bruising and we wondered if it could be meningitis. But as he wasn’t ill or had a temperature, we didn’t think the bruising was that serious.”

Despite being advised by NHS Direct to take Adam to A&E, Jo and her husband, Jeff, still weren’t overly concerned. Meningitis was ruled out at the hospital, but after several tests, a diagnosis of T-ALL was given an hour and a half later and Adam was rushed to Alder Hey hospital to begin treatment.

“As parents, we were distraught and shocked by the news; we just didn’t expect it and the whole experience that night was incredibly upsetting. We’ll never forget it. We didn’t want to worry Adam too much so we told him he had poorly blood and he needed medicine to get better.”

Adam underwent intensive chemotherapy for three and a half years, which ended in April 2013. He is now in remission but has check ups on his blood counts every three months.

“We had to drop everything to concentrate on getting Adam better and when you have two other young children, it can be a challenge; physically and emotionally. But Adam was so strong throughout his treatment though; he's been amazing.

T-ALL is rare and accounts for about 20% of all cases of ALL. It affects around 200 people in the UK each year and affects boys more than girls and usually affects older children (Source: Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research).

“We didn’t know anything about blood cancers until Adam was diagnosed, so the symptoms Adam was experiencing didn’t immediately make us think ‘leukaemia’. I guess you always think it would never happen to you or your children. If it wasn’t for the quick actions of the medical staff and the swift diagnosis, things could have been a completely different story. We are testament to the fact that early diagnosis can save lives and more needs to be done around raising awareness of this type of cancer.”