Cost of children’s cancer treatment hurting Leeds families

Paresh and Bhavna Rathod from Headingley in Leeds with son Rohan
Paresh and Bhavna Rathod from Headingley in Leeds with son Rohan
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Rohan Rathod was only two years old when he was diagnosed with cancer.

During the illness his parents, Paresh and Bhavna, from Headingley, found that the extra costs amounting due to their son’s treatment for needed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia were mounting.

Rohan Rathod in hospital during his treatment

Rohan Rathod in hospital during his treatment

Mr Rathod said: “When your child is critically ill the last thing you should have to worry about is money.

“It was a massive thing we all went through together and his mum and I will never forget it.” Cancer support charity CLIC Sargent estimates that the average costs to families, particularly due to travel to specialist hospitals, amounts to an extra £600 a month.

Mr Rathod said: “We both work, had understanding employers and lived relatively nearby to where Rohan was treated at Leeds Children’s Hospital, but other parents we met on the ward weren’t so lucky. I remember one family who were travelling to and from Scarborough every day to visit their child.

“As well as being totally exhausting it must have got expensive too.”

Rohan faced three years of gruelling treatment, but now aged eight is in remission and enjoying school.

The family have signed CLIC Sargent’s petition to request Prime Minister Theresa May takes action to ease the financial burden.

It is also one of two charities in the running for a partnership with supermarket Morrisons that would allow it to hand out double the grants it is currently able to and provide more specialist nursing support.

To sign the petition visit www.clicsargent.org.uk