A mum and son who have been battling cancer together for almost four years have BOTH been given the all-clear.
Mum, Vici Rigby, and her son, George were diagnosed with cancer within a few months of each other.
Vici, 40, was diagnosed first with stage four colorectal cancer and just five months later her four-year-old son, George, was found to have acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
In the autumn of 2016, she started treatment for the disease while George received his terrible news in January 2017, three weeks after Vici had undergone liver surgery.
It involved six rounds of chemotherapy followed by surgery on her liver and bowel, radiotherapy and then 12 more rounds of chemotherapy, but Vici fought through the illness.
However, both have now beaten the disease and the family is now settling into a new area after moving house shortly before George finished his treatment.
Vici, from Bromsgrove, Worcs., said: “When I was diagnosed it was just shock and my first thought was about the boys.
“I just assumed the outcome would be bad, considering the seriousness of the diagnosis.
“When George was diagnosed, it’s hard to put into words really, the rug was pulled from underneath us again but this time it was our four-year-old boy.
“There’s no way to really rationalise it in your mind. I guess on one hand we were just shell shocked again but on the other hand, we were so used to talking about and living through cancer that it almost felt like this is what we did.
“I remember thinking we now had to hope for two miracles, for us both to get better.
“Quite early on, George’s prognosis was very good so even though it was the most difficult period of time to get through, we always had a lot of hope and reassurance that he would recover.”
After three and a half years of care at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, George recently rang the bell to signify being given the all-clear.
Vici, who was discharged a few months before, said: “It feels quite surreal when you are given that first diagnosis and know you’re looking at three years of treatment.
“You never think the day is going to come. You get into the routine of hospital appointments and planning your lives around that.
“Then, all of a sudden, we can now make plans, book a holiday and arrange things without the worry.”
The family decided to move from Bromsgrove to Tenby, Wales last summer, not long after Vici had completed her treatment.
However, rather than transfer George’s treatment to a hospital in their new location, Vici and husband, Jamie, decided to undertake a monthly 350-mile, seven-hour round trip so he could be treated at Worcestershire Royal Hospital for the crucial final few months.
Vici explained: “When George was first taken into hospital to get his diagnosis I was still recovering from surgery myself.
“But the team at Worcester were amazing, I honestly can’t praise them enough.
“There were a few times when both I and George were in the hospital at the same time and they were all just brilliant.
“We moved to Tenby last year we decided to keep George’s care with Worcester as the care we’ve received has been absolutely outstanding.
“Dawn and Baylon, in particular, are so knowledgeable, attentive, caring and we have complete trust in them.
Despite an extremely testing few years for the family, they have been able to give George a relatively normal childhood.
Vici continued: “He’s done everything his peers have done, we’ve tried to treat him as normally as possible and considering the treatment he has to have on a daily basis, it hasn’t stopped him doing anything.
“He plays football, goes swimming and is doing really well at school, he’s very active and bright and he hasn’t once complained about his situation.
“We’ve both received the best care in Worcestershire and my Clinical Nurse Specialist, Bernice continues to support me now.
“We’re so grateful for their care and they really have become like a second family to us all.”
Children and Young People’s Oncology Nurse Specialist, Dawn Forbes said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to care for George and his family over the last three and a half years.
“George has been very brave throughout his treatment. We are in awe of George’s parents, Vici and Jamie, who have also shown immense resilience throughout his treatment.
“It’s a testament to the service and care we provide, and the fantastic relationship we all have with George and his family, that they have chosen to continue receiving his treatment here in Worcestershire considering they moved to Wales last summer.”
Bernice Kent, the Clinical Nurse Specialist who cared for Vici, said: “We’re thrilled that both Vici and George have now completed their treatment.
“They have both been through so much, but it’s lovely to see such a positive ending to such an awful time.”