James is our middle child, he was a chatterbox, full of quick whit, banter, and funny anecdotes, and always had something to say!
His ability to relate to everyone and be full of fun made him loveable, charming, popular and well liked by all who knew him.
Up until the age of 15 James had a normal childhood. However when he reached 15, we received the shocking news that he had a bone cancer in his right knee and femur called osteosarcoma. It was extremely aggressive and had also spread into one of his lungs. James was faced with an 8-month course of treatment which included chemotherapy and some major operations. He just accepted it. Never grumbled, never moaned, just faced each day and each obstacle with strength, determination, and a strong sense of humour.
For this type of cancer James received treatment in the Bristol children’s hospital, Birmingham Orthopaedic Hospital, and our local hospitals in Plymouth.
Young Lives V cancer provided us with support and a place for our family to stay at CLIC House in Bristol so we could be together. They also made sure that we had everything we needed, which included grants, funding and benefits. When James was refused a disabled parking badge after having to rely on a wheelchair to get around, they also contested the decision on our behalf and got it overturned.
Thankfully after a gruelling year of treatment James was given the all-clear and the freedom to live life again during which time he completed his GCSE’s and A levels, learnt to drive, had holidays, and generally lived life to the full making the most of every opportunity.
Unfortunately though, the cancer returned in 2020, and James had chemo again, and eventually the complete amputation of his right leg a year later to try and cure him.
In December 2021 it was discovered that the chemotherapy was no longer working, so as a last resort the Dr’s suggested a trial drug which provided James with 7 months of extra time during which he had his 21st birthday, a new automatic mobility car, a job he loved as a project manager at a local business, opportunities to watch his local team play and also time to go out. All the things someone his age should be doing.
Sadly however the control of the cancer ended in July 2022 when James quickly began to deteriorate and we were told the devastating news that he only had a short while to live. James passed away peacefully at home 2 days later surrounded by his family.
Throughout his 21 years James never let anything stop him, especially his cancer diagnosis. Even after the surgery to take his leg in an hindquarter amputation he would go to football games, out with friends, have weekends away, nothing could stop him. Life was for living! He used to say ‘I’m here to live life, not for a long life’.
Such was James’s sense of fun and mischievous attitude that there are TikTok’s of him playing the fool on nights out, dancing on tables in pre-match celebrations and leading the chants in the pubs at the Plymouth Argyle away days!
Not only was James a lot of fun to be around but he also had a very loving and caring side. He is loved and missed terribly by all who knew him.
We are so thankful to Young Lives V Cancer for their support during a such a difficult time, and we want to make sure it continues to provide this to everyone who might need it in the future.