A teenager who has survived bone cancer and is celebrating his 16th birthday today took to the stage to raise awareness about the little known disease.
James Wigg, who spoke at the Bone Cancer Research Trust’s annual conference in Leeds, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma just two days before Christmas in 2010.
His symptoms had at first been put down to simple growing pains by doctors.
But when the pain in the teenager’s knee caused him to limp his parents Linda and Michael, of Bennetts End, were determined to push for further expert medical investigation.
Since then James, who is a student at John F Kennedy School in Warners End, Hemel Hempstead, has undergone chemotherapy and surgery to remove his left knee, which has been replaced with a prosthetic one.
Mum Linda, who is keen to raise awareness amongst other parents, said: “If you are more aware then you can get treatment faster.
“Rather than just taking what a GP says, you should ask for tests.
“In 30 years the survival rates haven’t changed much – if people are more aware then hopefully diagnosis will be made, earlier and this could help improve the survival rates.”
The Wigg family had never heard of the cancer before James became ill and they were grateful for the support provided by the trust and the Adam Dealey Foundation, set up by Boxmoor parents John and Marian Dealey following the death of their son from another form of bone cancer called Ewings Sarcoma.
To find out more visit www.adamdealey.org.uk and www.bcrt.org.uk.