A couple’s five-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with leukaemia – eight years after her sister beat the disease.
Imogen Miller was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in February after falling ill in December.
It is not the first time that parents Claire Bruce, 30, and Michael Miller, 33, have gone through the ordeal, with older daughter Lacey diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) aged only seven months, in 2011.
Now eight, Lacey is thankfully in remission, however, the Fraserburgh family now have to go through the difficult time again with Imogen. And they are hoping to raise awareness of the disease to parents, as they thought it would never happen to them twice.
Imogen is currently undergoing chemotherapy five days a week and has been admitted in emergency situations several times.
She is only at the very start of her treatments, which will take two-and-a-half years to finish, having begun three months ago.
Claire said: “I was taking her back and forth to doctors and they diagnosed her with an enlarged spleen with a review in six weeks.
“She was getting worse and so eventually we got referred to Aberdeen again and she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on Valentine’s Day.
“You never really think something like that can happen to you twice, and I would like to raise awareness to parents that it can happen.
“Also, if your gut instinct tells you something’s wrong, then push for it.
“Our lives are now on hold again and it has been a hard pill to swallow.
“But of course we want Imogen to get better and will do anything to get there.
“It’s hard enough to go through with one child, but to go through it again and know what’s coming is worse.”
She added: “Lacey was diagnosed in 2011, aged seven months.
“She was airlifted to Glasgow to be put on a life support machine as she could hardly breathe. She did six months of chemotherapy in total – the first round in Glasgow and the rest in Aberdeen.
“Lacey finished treatment the month of her first birthday. She is now eight years old and in remission and for that we are extremely blessed.”
A fundraising page was set up by Claire’s friend Lianne Robertson in a bid to help support the couple financially.
Both parents are self-employed, with Claire working as a baker and Michael as a builder.
They have also received support from charity Logan’s Fund, which provided the two girls with iPads to make the long journey from their home in Fraserburgh to the hospital more bearable.
The iPad will also help Imogen with some interactive primary school lessons, as she is due to start school in August, and to chat to her sister on days they are apart.
Claire added: “My partner is self-employed and, while we have other children and home and emergency admissions, it’s a struggle for him to work full-time.
“She said she would like to help relieve some of that pressure.”
So far, more than £5,000 has been raised in only a few days.
Money will go towards fuel costs, wasted meals on emergency admission days, food costs at the hospital cafe, 4G on Imogen’s iPad so she can watch shows on her long car journeys and in hospital, home bills and other expenses.
A target of £10,000 has been set, with anything else being raised to go towards a family holiday.