19th Oct, 2017

Mum's new drive to raise cancer symptoms awareness

Coventry Editorial 12th Jun, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A MUM who lost her son to a rare form of cancer is hoping school awareness cards can help other parents spot symptoms earlier.

Mandy Coombes’ son Matty died aged just 11 after a battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that forms in soft tissue.

He had been diagnosed in 2010 after developing a lump in his leg and a squint in his eye, and died in February of the following year.

As well as sending schools signs and symptoms cards Mandy is also holding a charity ball next week to raise money for children’s cancer charity Be Child Cancer Aware to cover costs.

Mandy told the Observer Matty, an Eastern Green Primary School pupil, had dealt with the condition admirably.

“He lost weight and his hair which is a horrible thing to go through. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare,” she said.

“For a child of ten-years-old – to make him feel a lot worse in order to feel better – it’s difficult for them to understand, but he did.

“And he never complained or moaned, he didn’t feel sorry for himself. He went to school every day because he wanted to be with his friends which was lovely to see.”

Mandy now hopes Eastern Green will be the flagship school to promote her awareness cards, which will show signs and symptoms of cancer and the condition Matty had, which affects just 50 people each year.

She hopes it can be rolled out city-wide and then further afield.

“He had developed a lump in his leg, which isn’t in a classic area, but it’s about being aware.

“These cards aren’t aimed at scaring people but to empower parents that while it’s rare, it does happen. We never think it’s going to happen to us but it does.”

The cards are set to be handed out from September – coinciding with an awareness month – while the charity ball will be held on Friday, June 20 at the Standard Triumph Club in Tile Hill.

Tickets are £10 with a DJ, live band and cold buffet available.

The event has been dubbed Glam up for Gold to match the colour of childhood cancer awareness. To buy a ticket call Mandy on 07805 707956.

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