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Rougham: Cancer survivors’ twin reason to embrace 2013

09:00 31 December 2012

Gracie (left) and Megan (right) Garwood are looking forward to the New Year after getting the all clear from  leukaemia. Pictured at their home in Rougham with Emma and Mark (mum and dad) and sister Martha (5).

Gracie (left) and Megan (right) Garwood are looking forward to the New Year after getting the all clear from leukaemia. Pictured at their home in Rougham with Emma and Mark (mum and dad) and sister Martha (5).

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A FAMILY whose courageous twin girls have overcome cancer are looking forward to a happy and healthy New Year.

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Megan and Gracie Garwood, seven, have spent the last three Christmases battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, but were given the all-clear in February.

Mum Emma, said the family, who live in Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, had “really gone over the top this year” with Christmas festivities and decorations.

“I think they are at that age now where they are get so excited by Christmas. It made such a difference not having cancer hanging over our heads, and the thought of no chemotherapy,” Mrs Garwood said.

Dad Mark added: “It has made this Christmas seem special, more special than normal.”

Last Christmas Megan spent Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day in the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury, after developing a temperature.

The family, including the twins’ sister Martha, five, are now excited about their forthcoming holiday to Disneyland, America, in March.

Mrs Garwood said: “We are looking forward to America. That’s the big thing that’s happening at the end of March.

“It’s all paid for and we are just talking about how the girls are going to earn some pocket money leading up to it so they can have some spending money when they are over there.”

Megan and Gracie, who attend Rougham Primary School, were diagnosed with cancer within a week of each other in September 2009. The plight of the girls has touched people’s hearts around the world and they have shown their support by raising enough funds to get the family to Disneyland in America.

The cancer treatment affected the twins’ immune systems, but Mrs Garwood said they were definitely getting stronger.

“And they are just enjoying school, and their appetite – everything has improved. I said to Mark it just goes to show how much the chemotherapy did affect them.”

She said getting the all-clear felt like a weight had been lifted.

“Sometimes it feels like it never happened to us and other times it feels like we shouldn’t take it for granted, but you need to live life and you want their childhood to be as happy as it can be.”

While Mrs Garwood and the twins had flu-like symptoms over the festive period they were all at home “which was the main thing. We still had a good time,” she added.

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