health

The story that made Tazmin's mum question the strange bruises on her daughter's body.

On Tuesday, July 4, Laura Handley, a 29-year-old mother of five, read the story of James O’Mara, a teenager who died just eight days after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia.

After learning of his symptoms, Handley, from Worcester in central England, checked her 1-year-old daughter, Tazmin, and was horrified to learn that the easy bruising and red pin prick dots on her skin could be a sign of the blood cancer.

Handley took her toddler to the doctor after reading a news story about leukaemia. Image via Facebook.

Having previously dismissed the marks as consequences of Tazmin being a normal, clumsy toddler, Handley booked an appointment for the doctor the very next day.

Testing confirmed that the toddler was suffering myelodysplasia, a blood disorder that has the potential to develop into acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), the same deadly cancer as the teen she had read about.

And on July 19, Handley and her husband, Chris Carpenter, 29, were told the worst possible news: Tazmin was indeed battling AML.

tazmin hospital
Tazmin's parents thought her bruises were from being a "clumsy" toddler. Image via Facebook.
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"Our world crumbled that day," Handley wrote on a Facebook page set up to support the family during Tazmin's treatment.

"They say you shouldn't Google anything about health but you have to trust your instinct.

"I just knew something was wrong."

Laura told the Worcester News the family was "shocked" by Tazmin's diagnosis, noting that "if I hadn't read that story about that poor lad I wouldn't have taken her to the doctors."

Handley urges others to be aware of the signs and symptoms and to visit a doctor if they notice anything unusual.

tazmin treatment
Tazmin is undergoing chemotherapy in hospital. Image via Facebook.

Meanwhile, Tazmin is now undergoing chemotherapy and platelet transfusions at Birmingham Children's Hospital. Friends of the family have set up a fundraising page to help with medical and travel costs.

"They have five children and live off one wage," friend Sophie Cook wrote. "Tazmin will need her mummy and daddy to give her all the support they can when they have to stay in hospital...this living on one wage may be no wage as Daddy needs to be with Tazmin also.

"This money will also help towards travel costs to and from Birmingham hospital."

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