Fabian’s Story


The site is dedicated to recording our journey with Fabian in his battle against acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.  We want you to laugh, cry and pray with us as we share our hopes and fears along the way.  Your thoughts and prayers of support mean much and to know at this time of need we are not alone.

A little about Fabian…

He was born at home on 2nd March 2002, the youngest of our 4 children.  Early in 2006, he developed a small lump on his neck, nothing out of the ordinary and no other symptoms.  Our GP felt this was merely a swollen lymph gland that would recede in time. It did not. After a few more visits and some assertive demands, he took a full blood test and the results confirmed the strong likelihood of cancerous cells.  This immediately precipitated his admission into St George’s Hospital, Tooting on June 30th 2006.  Here, a bone marrow aspirate was taken and the full diagnosis that he had precursor B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia was made and our battle against this disease began.  His oncology treatment (protocol) involved some high dose chemotherapy followed by a long period of maintenance at home.  We had consented he should join a  clinical trial known as UKALL 2003, in which 50% patients are randomised to go onto a higher dosage regimen.  Thankfully, he was selected for the standard treatment which would, we knew, carry less side effects.  However, due to his initial poor response rate, Fabian was then categorised as being ‘at high risk of relapse’ which only carries a 60% chance of cure.  The 3 years on treatment  went better than expected.  Apart from a series of minor infections and one serious attack of shingles he coped very well having few hospital admissions.  Importantly, he also remained in full remission.

Finally on September 9th 2009 he came off treatment and we enjoyed a wonderful period without daily medication.  He still required frequent monitoring visits and it was at one of these early in July 2011 that suspicions were aroused.  He had become noticeably more lethargic and anaemic, a typical symptom of recurrent disease.  Sadly, the blood test confirmed our fears that he had indeed relapsed although this was isolated to the bone marrow only.  Since the relapse was more than 36 months since his initial diagnosis/remission, he was put in the intermediate risk category and this together with his age and immunology are all good prognostic features.   His new protocol is the R3 regimen, this time with much stronger chemotherapy than previously.  We have been told to expect long periods of hospital admission and frequent complications.

Go to our Journal to pick up his story..


Darrell and Lydia Bate
parents to Fabian