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Parents' plea for help to provide happy Christmas for ill son Jack Bowman


Hospital: Jack Bowman from Castledawson

Hospital: Jack Bowman from Castledawson


Hospital: Jack Bowman from Castledawson

All Margaret and Charles Bowman want for Christmas is to give their cancer-stricken son the best festive season they can.

The parents of the Co Londonderry teenager fear this Christmas may be his last and are pulling out all the stops for their son.

And they've asked for the help of the community in making dreams come true.

This time last year Jack Bowman (15) was a normal teenager. Today he is facing the news that there is little more that doctors can do for him.

Jack's family are now hoping the community can rally behind their son to help them do something special now they've been given the devastating news it's unlikely his cancer can be cured.

Already almost £1,000 has been raised towards helping Jack, from Castledawson and a pupil at Magherafelt High School, enjoy something special.

"He's always been such a lovable young man who has a wicked sense of humour, he's cheeky, funny and likes hanging out with his friends," said mum Margaret.

"But last year that all changed.

"Jack started complaining of his legs being sore to the point that he could hardly walk, so we took him to our local A&E where an X-ray was done."

Margaret said she was told Jack was showing signs of juvenile arthritis and was sent home with pain medication.

"A day later he was still no better and was running a temperature," she said.

"So we went back to our local hospital again where they ran tests and scans."

The family's fears escalated from there.


Jack's father Charles

Jack's father Charles

Jack's father Charles

"A few hours later we were told that he had a mass in his abdomen," said mum Margaret. "A biopsy was done and two weeks later, in August 2019, Jack was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma.

"To say it changed everything is an understatement," she said.

"We were given a treatment plan of between 12-18 months, we are now 13 months into treatment and all that's been tried to date, including a clinical trial, hasn't really worked."

Margaret explained how Jack relapsed during his treatment.

"In October we were given the devastating news that it's very unlikely that his disease will be cured," she added.

"The treatment isn't working and it's not the news we were hoping and praying for.

"So we would like to do something special for him to lift his spirits a bit as he doesn't get out and about as much as he used to.

"It's difficult for his older brother Adam and little sister Chloe too," said Margaret. "This disease is brutal and we need something to lift the spirits."

To help, go to https://ie.gofundme.com/f/15yr-old-cancer-patient

Belfast Telegraph