A St Helens mum who lost both her children within the space of a few short years has spoken of her continued battle with an unbearable heartache.
Karen Ledsham has experienced pain and anguish few of us can even contemplate.
She lost her son Harrison earlier this year to bone cancer just a few years after the death of her daughter Abigail.
Karen has told how she and her husband Paul are attempting to rebuild their shattered lives after Harrison and Abigail’s passing.
The 42-year-old lost 12-year-old son Harrison in May following a year-long battle with bone cancer.
But determined to stay strong and help others, Karen is using social media to raise awareness,
She said: “People know children do get cancer. So we need to raise as much awareness as we can, as this means more funding. Childhood cancers never really get mentioned and there are not many big publicity campaigns. In fact, very few people know what colours are used.
“So we need to get it out there. We need to let people know what signs and symptoms to look out for, as often these things can be missed or misdiagnosed.
“I am making and selling gold ribbons at £2 for Bone Cancer Research Trust, Bone cancer is predominately a childhood cancer, so this is my way of giving money to help save lives and raise awareness.”
The last few months have been an emotional tug of war for Karen and her husband, Paul, so they chose to retreat to a family holiday home in Spain. Their daughter, Abigail, also lost her fight with a rare degenerative condition in 2008, days before her second birthday.
Karen added: “We found it all too much at home, as the house was so empty. We didn’t know what to do. My dad owns a property in Spain. Harrison’s dog was not coping either, so we got him a passport and got a ferry and drove to a quieter spot in the mountains, near Benidorm.
“It has helped being away, as it gave us time to get our heads around everything. We celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary and Paul had his 47th birthday last month, which we found very difficult.
“Now we are home, everything is coming back to us and it is very emotional.”
Karen is knitting gold ribbons to raise awareness of the illness in youngsters.
As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, she is selling the crochet ribbons, with all money will going towards Bone Cancer Research Trust.
To buy a knitted gold ribbon for £2, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
People can also buy a gold ribbon pin badge – the awareness symbol for childhood cancers – available at most TK Maxx stores across the UK, with funds going towards Cancer Research UK.