Jack Parton, 15, was diagnosed with leukaemia just weeks after his brother died
A family was left heartbroken after a schoolboy, now 15, was diagnosed with leukaemia just two weeks after his identical twin’s funeral following his death from a brain tumour.
Doctors initially thought Jack Parton, now 15, had PTSD following the death of his brother Ben in December 2019.
But in a devastating blow to the Cannock-based family, they later discovered he had blood cancer leukemia.
Jack’s mother Julie Parton, 54, said: ‘To be told my surviving son had leukaemia was devastating. Although I have to hold out hope that leukaemia is curable whereas Ben never had that chance.’
Ben passed away ten days before Christmas three years ago despite two surgeries, 30 sessions of radiotherapy and two cycles of chemotherapy. He had been diagnosed with a glioblastoma eight months earlier after bouts of vomiting and painful headaches.
A month later, a CT scan at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton showed a mass on his brain and he was given less than two years to live.
Then, two weeks after Ben’s funeral, cancer struck the family a second time when Jack was diagnosed.
‘Ben was very laid back compared to Jack who is feisty – they balanced each other out,’ Ms Parton, from Cannock, Staffordshire, said.
‘But Ben loved Christmas and would get so excited from end of October. He made Christmas so fun for us.’
In memory of his brother, Jack is this month taking part in Brain Tumour Research’s Wear A Christmas Hat Day to raise money for the charity.
The family – which has already raised nearly £1,000 – will be hosting an open house event on Saturday.
Ms Parton said: ‘This time of year is always hard as Ben died before Christmas, but we decided to use his love of parties to celebrate his life each December.’
‘Jack is doing well and nearing the end of his treatment. I feel privileged to be his mum.
‘This year I am asking friends and family to donate what they can whilst wearing their favourite Christmas hat during an open house on December 10 to support Brain Tumour Research.’
Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: ‘Ben’s story is devastating and we’re grateful to Julie for sharing this with us.
‘The family’s experience demonstrates the need for more funding and research into brain tumours to keep families together.
‘We wish Julie and Jack all the best for their fundraiser this Wear A Christmas Hat Day.
‘Anyone can sign up, and if you can’t join in on Friday December 16, don’t worry! You can hold your event on any other day in December to suit you.’
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK.