Three-year-old Hatfield girl cycles a mile-a-day for cancer charity that got mum, 21, through neuroblastoma
PUBLISHED: 16:29 30 July 2020
After a 21-year-old mum was supported through a rare condition called neuroblastoma, her three-year-old daughter is cycling a mile a day to raise funds.
Without the charity CLIC Sargent, Lois Parker does not know how she would have got through her rare type of cancer, that mostly affects babies and young children, and still have been able to look after little Lexi when she was diagnosed at 19.
“At the start, I worried as the cancer affects under fives that Lexi wouldn’t be OK, but she’s fine and healthy.”
The charity – which makes sure young cancer patients thrive, not just survive – assigned a specialist social worker to help her with costs associated with her treatment and access to a home away from home.
The single mum explained that without Lexi she does not know what she would have done to keep going and is so proud of her helping a charity that helped her.
“She will have the right world view and will help other people. I’m just so lucky to have her,” Lois said.
“After Lexi’s cousin raised money through a bike ride, she asked to do it too and as we just got her stabilisers off during lockdown, I said OK. I asked her for how long and she said 500 and came up with 2,000 miles.
“I said that might be a bit too much so we settled on 32 miles – how long my round trip to London was for treatment.”
While being treated at the NHS’ University College Hospital, Lois also stayed at CLIC’s Paul’s house, a home away from home right next to the young people treatment centre.
She explained: “We stayed there on multiple occasions to be closer to the hospital, also for Lexi and her nanny to be closer to me, with access to everything you could need from a washing machine to a kitchen to make it easier on everyone.”
Lexi has really got involved and asks every day how much they’ve raised – now over £1,600.
And as soon as the 21-year-old started talking about the bike ride, the WHT could hear Lexi begging in the background to go for another ride.
However, life is not fully back to normal for Lois as she has reduced lung function due to the strain on her body from the removal of her tumour – which was right next to her spine – and radiotherapy.
“I also had a new form of immunotherapy as well, which was the first time outside of Southampton trials that the treatment had been done.
“They just did two rounds and stopped when I hit remission in 2019.”
And she has been especially worried during the COVID-19 pandemic since she’s started having treatment for her lungs.
“I still really struggle to do things. It’s such a ‘mare and some days I have bad days. I lost a lot of capacity in my lungs,” she continued. I can’t carry shopping up to the third floor of my flat or Lexi. It could have been worse. I could not be here in the grand scheme of things.
“I have lost friends to cancer now. You should think at 21 you’re invincible. This is not what you should be going through.”
Despite getting over her illness, Lois is not one to rest on her laurels and plans to help others in anyway she can.
She said: “I really believe that every day should count and I should focus on doing what’s right and not just surviving. I have to do something.I have been given this second chance at life and I have done well to come out with all this experience and knowledge.
“During coronavirus, I have actually had the best guilt free couple of months.
“I completed the half marathon with my sister after my transplant around six months after diagnosis.
“Some call me crazy I’m not sure I mind though, especially if I’m raising awareness and money for this incredible charity.”
The 21-year-old is also looking forward to running a London Marathon for CLIC Sargant in the future or walking some of it depends on how fit she feels.
But still, the young mum is not quite back out there and will not risk going to shops in Hatfield just yet. Though she has been able to celebrate her 21st birthday during lockdown, even if it was with a very small group and her mum.
“We had a barbecue in the garden with only two friends, two metres apart and my other friends felt bad but they don’t want to give it to me just in case.”
Lexi has raised over 600 per cent more than her total on Just Giving and you can donate more by going to justgiving.com/fundraising/lexi-parker
To read more about Lois’ story, follow Instagram on ‘neurolo_’.
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