Chesterfield children who underwent cancer treatment together set to reunite after more than a year apart

When two Chesterfield children were taken to see their respective GPs with unexplained bruising and a rash, their mothers hoped for a simple explanation.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:31 pm

Instead, in very similar circumstances but exactly a year apart, Elyssia Cobb and Lucas Jarvis-Holmes were both diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and began treatment the very next day.

Their journey since has seen the pair become best friends, successfully complete their treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and celebrate their remission by ringing the bell on the Cancer and Leukaemia ward together.

Elyssia’s mum, Jessica, recalled the start of her daughter’s treatment in October 2015.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lucas Jarvis-Holmes and Elyssia Cobb went through cancer treatment together and, owing to the treatment for their type of leukaemia lasting a year longer for boys, they were able to celebrate their remission and ring the ward bell together in November 2017
Lucas Jarvis-Holmes and Elyssia Cobb went through cancer treatment together and, owing to the treatment for their type of leukaemia lasting a year longer for boys, they were able to celebrate their remission and ring the ward bell together in November 2017

She said: “It was very scary, we didn’t sleep at all for the first few days. It was very difficult, because Elyssia was only three and she didn’t understand what was happening.

“It broke my heart. For the first six months, we were in Sheffield Children’s three times a week, having various procedures and therapies.

“I slept on a pull-out chair by the side of Elyssia’s bed, it was far from comfortable but there would often be lots of other upset children on the ward too, so you didn’t get much sleep or privacy. It was so heart-breaking to see, you never think that’s going to be your reality.”

Lucas’ mum, Louisa, had a similar experience when her son was admitted for treatment in October 2014.

She said: “When Lucas was rushed to hospital, I also had my seven-week-old son with me. I couldn’t leave them, so he slept by my side on two pillows. It was a squeeze to fit us all in.

“It was a restless time. When he was first diagnosed, we were on the ward for ten days and then spent an average of four or five nights a month on the ward until he entered remission.”

Previously friends, both mothers had lost touch until seeing each other again while their children were undergoing treatment.

Louisa added: “If something good came out of it, it was that we as families managed to reconnect. I expect Lucas and Elyssia’s friendship to last a lifetime.”

After not seeing each other for over a year due to Covid-19, Lucas, aged nine and Elyssia, aged eight, will reunite this summer for the Bears of Sheffield sculpture trai.

For more information visit www.bearsofsheffield.com.

Support your Derbyshire Times by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe.