Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has given a frank account of his 14-year-old son’s treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He tells of the 'harshness' of the treatment that saved 14-year-old Antonio’s life.
Mr Clegg and his wife Miriam González Durántez wrote a joint account of their son’s treatment, published yesterday by the charity Bloodwise.
They call for backing for research into new treatments and 'kinder cures.'
Antonio was treated on the teenage cancer ward at University College London Hospitals by a team led by Dr Stephen Daw.
At one point, his parents say, he was taking more than 20 tables a day while he undertook four monthly cycles of chemotherapy. The treatment was successful and the lymphoma was eradicated – with no sign of recurrence, they report.
His parents write: 'Like all parents who have a child diagnosed with cancer, our first reaction was an overwhelming, if irrational, wish to take the cancer away from him and take it on ourselves. But of course you can’t.'
They add: 'For those who do make a full recovery, the treatments can nonetheless be very harsh and can have detrimental long-term side effects.'
They conclude: 'We know how lucky our family has been. The experience of being a cancer patient changes a person forever, even if they make a full recovery. We are immensely grateful to everyone who helped Antonio.'
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