Brave twins inspire their uncle

CANCER-battling twins Megan and Gracie Garwood have inspired their uncle to take on a gruelling charity bike ride to raise money for leukaemia research.

Jonathan Schofield

CANCER-battling twins Megan and Gracie Garwood have inspired their uncle to take on a gruelling charity bike ride to raise money for leukaemia research.

Last week, the EADT featured the heart-breaking story of Megan and Gracie, of High Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, who were both diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia within one week of each other last August.

Parents Emma and Mark Garwood kept a bedside vigil as the twins endured intense chemotherapy treatment side-by-side at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.


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After winning Cancer UK Little Star awards for their bravery earlier this month, their uncle Oliver Brock, 36, decided to take on a 350-mile cycle challenge from London to Paris to raise money for children with leukaemia.

Mr Brock, who runs It'seeze Web Consultants in Colchester, said: “Megan and Gracie have been so brave, and as they start their next round of treatment and school, I decided that I wanted to do something positive to help other children and families affected by leukaemia in the future as I have seen almost first-hand how frightening it is.”

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Mr Brock, who has two children of his own, Sophie, four, and Harrison, eight, said the whole family were still in shock about what had happened.

“One week we were enjoying a family barbecue and all the children were playing happily and then suddenly both girls are literally fighting for their lives,” said Mr Brock. “Emma, Mark and the girls spent the next two months living in a small room in Addenbrooke's where Megan and Gracie were basically poisoned right to the very limit in order to fight leukaemia - it was a really horrendous experience.”

Mrs Garwood said: “My brother loves cycling and when he said he wanted to do something to help I felt very proud of him and I hope he gets lots of support for what he is doing.”

The twins are now facing another two years of treatment and weekly chemotherapy sessions at Addenbrooke's before they can be given the all-clear.

The family were living in Colchester last August when Megan began to show signs of being ill.

A trip to the doctors was followed by an urgent dash to hospital where the devastating diagnosis was confirmed.

Despite assurances the chances of her twin sister having the same condition were slim, just one week later Gracie became ill, was diagnosed with leukaemia and moved into a bed next to Megan.

Mrs Garwood, who has another daughter Martha, said: “To be told that two of your three daughters have cancer is unthinkable and you begin to wonder what you have done to deserve it.”

The disruption and heartache caused to the family did not stop them moving to their new home in High Rougham towards the end of last year in time for Christmas.

Speaking from the family home yesterday, Mrs Garwood said Megan and Gracie were getting better every day.

She said: “Megan is at the hospital today for chemotherapy treatment and we told Gracie she could go along but she insisted on going to school on her own for the first time. It's wonderful to see her wanting to do this especially as she will be back in hospital next week for quite an intensive session of chemotherapy.”

She said that since appearing in the EADT they have been inundated with TV stations, newspapers and magazines wanting to tell the twins' story.

To sponsor Mr Brock go to www.bmycharity.com/V2/oliverbrock or call 01206 512093.

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