Adorable photo of toddler falling asleep on a swing contained hidden clues she had cancerDecember 2, 2018
Dave Fletcher, 39, took the snap believing he was capturing an innocent childhood moment after little Izzy dozed off aged 23 months.
But weeks later, the dad and wife Vicky, 37, were horrified to discover their daughter's tiredness was actually a sign of deadly leukaemia.
The brave toddler has since undergone 570 rounds of gruelling chemotherapy and is now receiving maintenance therapy in a bid to stop the cancer returning.
Dave, from Claines, Worcs, said: "It was just an afternoon pop out to the swings. She was swinging away – I turned around and she had dropped off.
”She was drowsy and fell asleep but I didn't think much of it. I thought it was a cute moment and just took a picture of her as you do.
“It was only afterwards we realised it was all part of the symptoms and what I'd captured was her displaying signs of something more sinister.
”She had been tired, had had a few colds or viruses, and quite a bit of bruising on her legs. But we put all this down to normal childhood bumps and minor illness.
“You get a bit sentimental, looking at pictures of her before she was ill – you just realise how much she's been through since at so young.”
The couple had taken Izzy to see a GP in January last year after a strange rash appeared on her leg and were told to come back for blood tests.
But the next morning, her rash had spread and she had a temperature so they rushed her to Worcester Royal Hospital.
She was diagnosed with leukaemia the same day and began a course of chemotherapy the following week.
Izzy spent her second birthday in hospital while waiting to have a procedure to sample her bone marrow.
She has now been enrolled on a clinical trial called UKALL 2011, which aims to see if changing chemotherapy treatment will reduce side effects, and will remain on treatment until May next year.
Dave said: “She has grown up very quickly and been subjected to medicine she doesn't like but has taken everything in her stride so far.
"When she was diagnosed it came out of the blue. We were both in real shock as it happened so fast.
"The NHS doctors and nurses have been brilliant. and we've had lots of support from family and friends."
Izzy has now received a Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Award in recognition of what she has been through.
Mum Vicky said: "Izzy was so excited to receive her award. It was a nice positive experience that rewarded her for struggling on with her treatment."
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