A child’s first day at senior school is always a nerve-wracking affair.
But for cancer battler Harrison Ledsham, who had to have his leg amputated over the summer, it marked an all-too-brief return to some semblance of normality.
Against all odds, the brave 11-year-old spent all morning at Haydock High last Tuesday - in between courses of intravenous antibiotics at Alder Hey.
He was diagnosed with bone cancer earlier this year – less than six years after his little sister Abigail succumbed to an ultra-rare disease.
Mum Karen said: “Harrison had been in hospital with an infection but the doctors let him out for a few hours so he could start senior school with his friends. He enjoyed it.
“We had to be up early and left Alder Hey at 8am. He stayed until 12.30pm, when we picked him up and took him back to hospital.
“He was discharged two days later but was so worn out that he was unable to get back into school until Monday afternoon. He is due back in for his next cycle of chemo today (Wednesday) but really enjoyed being back at home for a few days.”
The former Legh Vale Primary School pupil, of Liverpool Road, Haydock, was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma tumour above his left knee just weeks after doctors had put the discomfort he was experiencing down to growing pains.
When it didn’t get any better with rest, he went to hospital for an x-ray and a second opinion was sought from experts in Birmingham.
The results of a biopsy then led to the cancer diagnosis and Harrison was called in to Alder Hey to start an intensive course of chemotherapy the very next day.
His little sister, Abigail, lost her brave battle with Sandhoff’s Disease – a degenerative condition which rendered her unable to see, drink, eat or even breathe by herself - in October 2008, days before her second birthday.
Mum Karen added: “We’ve not been the luckiest family. I know it sounds awful but we almost wish this had happened to someone else instead.
“Harrison had to have his leg amputated in July as the tumour was much bigger than they thought. He is dealing with it well though and looking forward to getting a new prosthetic one.
“He’s a tough lad and we’ve told him he needs to have a positive attitude to tackle this head-on. We’ve got a battle on our hands again but he will beat it - he has to beat it.”
Harrison’s maternal grandfather, Bill Richardson, is set to take on a fundraising parachute jump on September 26 to raise awareness of osteosarcoma.
The 67-year-old, of Haydock, is set to donate all proceeds to the children’s cancer charity CHICS.
To add your support, go online at: www.justgiving.com/Bill-Richardson3