Boy celebrates first Christmas in remission from cancer with London medics who treated him

Boy celebrates first Christmas in remission from cancer with London medics who treated him


The mother and her 11-year-old son, who were suffering from blood cancer, have returned to the London hospital where he was being treated to celebrate his first Christmas in remission.

Gabriel Gemegah was just seven years old when he was diagnosed with stage 4 T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma and has been on and off at Newham Hospital for chemotherapy, spinal taps and blood tests for the past three years.

Prior to his diagnosis, he spent time in and out of the emergency room before becoming “extremely unwell” and being hospitalized on life support.

His mother Seyrah said: “It has been a long, intense and painful experience, especially as a single mother of two young boys, but I have never felt alone. Everyone on the pediatric cancer team, from the doctors to the nurses to the game specialists, have been with us from the start.”

Seyrah with her two sons

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Gabriel has ADHD and autism which means the treatment has often been a difficult experience.

“He couldn’t sit still during chemotherapy and didn’t fully understand what was happening and why, but the team came out to meet him and understand him,” Ms Gemegah continued.

On Monday, Gabriel visited the hospital to celebrate with the children’s cancer team, who mentored him at their Christmas grotto and party – the first to be held in person since the Covid pandemic.

“In the past three years, everyone on the childhood cancer team has become his friend. We even celebrated the end of Gabriel’s cancer treatment in September this year, surrounded by everyone who cared for him throughout the journey,” Ms. Gemegah said.

“We are so grateful that Gabriel is now in remission and that we can come back to celebrate Christmas with the team that has been with us all these years.”

Gabriel and his mother were joined at the celebrations by Jacqui Seaton and Kady Tambi, both pediatric oncology nurses who helped treat him.

Ms Seaton said Gabriel and his family stayed “so strong” during his treatment.

“I’m thrilled that they’re both doing so well. It’s patients like Gabriel who inspire me and my children’s cancer team to keep going.”

and dr Tambi added: “Being a pediatric nurse is the best job in the world. No matter how sick the kids are, they always make me smile. It is a privilege to meet families like Seyrah and Gabriel’s and I have so much respect for how they deal with whatever comes their way along the treatment path.

“Seeing young people recover and live fulfilling lives means the world to me and it motivates me on the most difficult days. The families are just inspiring.”

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