Mother's praise for brave Aimee's battle

LITTLE Aimee Landymore has bravely endured a year of exhausting treatment in her battle against cancer.

Jonathan Schofield

LITTLE Aimee Landymore has bravely endured a year of exhausting treatment in her battle against cancer.

And now her mother has spoken of her daughter's courage as the family mark the anniversary of the devastating diagnosis.

Elaine Landymore, 30, and her husband Stephen, 48, a self employed plasterer, were nursing themselves and their youngest daughter Aimee, aged five, through bouts of flu last December when Mrs Landymore suspected something more sinister was wrong with Aimee.

When a course of antibiotics did not shift her stomach ache she went back to her doctor on December 17.

Mrs Landymore, from Thomas Young Close in Stowmarket, said: “I just knew something was wrong. When I took her back her stomach was rock solid and the doctor said he could feel her spleen and liver was rigid.”

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Within hours Aimee was in West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, and by midnight Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, diagnosed her with leukaemia.

“I was there on my own as Stephen still had the flu. Having to call home with that news is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Suddenly your precious daughter is having a lumbar puncture and undergoing intensive chemotherapy and all you want is for the world to stop spinning,” she added.

For the next four months Aimee's parents endured seeing their daughter go through the horrific side effects of chemotherapy.

Constant sickness, loss of blood through a tear in her stomach, intravenous pipes stuck in her hands and feet and eventually the point where Aimee stopped talking altogether.

“She just started to shut down. Even though she was so brave it's a pain you can't describe, a constant nightmare to see your bubbly daughter reduced to this. I kept wanting me to have the cancer instead of Aimee just so she wouldn't suffer anymore.”

Last Easter the family, including older daughter Charlotte, aged six, waited anxiously for test results which confirmed a relapse and Aimee was put on a powerful course of chemotherapy.

Mrs Landymore said: “Doctors told us to be prepared for the worst which means you are on the edge all the time - it's simply exhausting for everyone. This Thursday was the first day without treatment and Aimee is now clear of leukaemia.”

To celebrate the family threw a charity party, concert, auction and disco in the Riverside Club in Stowmarket last night .

Money raised on the night will all go to the CLIC Sargent cancer charity which supported the family through their ordeal.

Aimee will now be on an oral form of chemotherapy until April 2011.

Mrs Landymore said that even after that date she will always be living on tenterhooks. “Every time she gets a cold or a stomach ache I'll always worry. It makes you realise that the only things that matter are love and family - nothing else even comes close.”

To make a donation or find out more information on how the charity can help families with children diagnosed with cancer go to www.clicsargent.org.uk.