Jason Takor, aged five, from Filton, Bristol, has been chosen as the face of a national fundraising campaign for the children and young people’s cancer support charity CLIC Sargent.
In the run up to Christmas, Jason, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year, is appearing on posters in H. Samuel stores nation- wide to publicise Snowy the CLIC Sargent Bear – a plush teddy being sold to raise money for the charity’s work supporting young cancer patients.
Jason, alongside his mum Zuzana, dad Joshua and sister Sophia, aged four, also star in a moving online film for the Snowy campaign where they talk through their cancer journey and explain how support from CLIC Sargent has helped them through their most difficult times.
In February 2016 Zuzana found a lump while bathing Jason and tests revealed he had testicular cancer, which is extremely rare in children. It had already spread to one of his kidneys, and the shock diagnosis left the family devastated. Operations, plus intensive chemotherapy and gruelling radiotherapy followed.
Zuzana said: “To be told he had cancer was just so shocking. I don’t think it really hit me until the doctor left, and I burst into tears. In the moment when he told me my mind went blank, I just couldn’t think straight. My life had completely changed in a moment.
“It was really scary to see Jason go through treatment, it was hard not to fall apart in front of him. As a parent, you just want more than anything to take the cancer away for them.
The family was helped throughout their ordeal by Anne Badger a CLIC Sargent Support Worker who is part of an independent team at Bristol Children’s Hospital offering emotional and financial support to families in need, and the CLIC Sargent Nursing Team, which visits children at home and at nursery or school to undertake procedures like blood tests that would other- wise require a clinical visit.
Zuzana said: “When your child has cancer there is always so much on your mind. Anne took some of those stresses away. If there was anything I needed, I knew I could call her for help or just a chat, and it was so important to have that. Especially as we don’t have any family living in the UK to support us.
“She helped us with grants to cover the extra costs we had while Jason was in hospital, and explained to my husband’s employers why he needed the time off. Anything we needed we could ask her and she’d sort it.”
Jason got the all clear in October 2016 and now the family is happy to share their story and support the Snowy campaign.
Zusanna said: “We know what a huge difference the money raised will make to other families like ours.”
For every £9.99 Snowy bear bought, H.Samuel will donate at least £3.50 to CLIC Sargent. Snowy is available at H.Samuel and Ernest Jones stores nationwide, and from CLIC Sargent’ online at: https://shop.clicsargent.org.uk/