Trip to Number 10 for brave children

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An 11-year-old boy has been to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister’s wife as part of a group of youngsters who have beaten leukaemia.

Jack Burnett, from Bedford, met Samantha Cameron at the reception, which was held as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

He said: “I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed seeing inside 10 Downing Street and meeting Samantha Cameron.

“I was very impressed by the security and the guns the police were carrying!”

The children and their families were invited to the event by blood cancer charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, to celebrate its work in improving survival rates for childhood leukaemia, and to highlight the research the charity is doing into less toxic cancer treatments for children.

Jack was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in 2007, when he was four. He responded well to treatment and, now aged 11, is back at school full time.

Just 50 years ago, fewer than one in 10 children diagnosed with ALL, the most common form of childhood leukaemia, survived for over five years. Now, nine in 10 children will survive this cancer, but treatment is gruelling and can last up to three years.

Charity chief executive Cathy Gilman said: “Treatment for childhood leukaemia has come a long way in improving survival rates, but sadly some children are left with long-term side effects as a result of their treatment. We won’t stop until every child diagnosed with a blood cancer not only survives, but is free to live their life to the full, both during and after treatment.”