Cannock boy's cancer diagnosis weeks after twin's death

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Ben and Jack with mum JulieImage source, Brain Tumour Research
Image caption,
Julie Parton said the leukaemia diagnosis of son Jack, weeks after losing his identical twin Ben to a brain tumour was "devastating"

A 12-year-old boy has been diagnosed with cancer, weeks after losing his twin to another form of the disease.

Ben Parton, from Cannock in Staffordshire, died eight months after being diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain tumour.

Weeks after his funeral, his twin brother, Jack, was found to have leukaemia.

Their mother, Julie Parton, said it was "almost impossible to put into words how horrendous this has been".

In March 2019, Ben began complaining of headaches, sickness and lost the use of his right arm.

He was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme in April.

Image source, Brain Tumour Research
Image caption,
Ben was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme

He underwent surgery which removed the tumour and began radiotherapy.

"He was really brave, he always thanked the surgeon," Mrs Parton said.

But the tumour returned and despite another surgery, and chemotherapy treatment, it spread into the fluid in his brain and Ben died in December.

Image source, Brain Tumour Research
Image caption,
Ben underwent brain surgery twice as well as radiotherapy and chemotherapy

"Jack lost his best friend, his brother, he lost everything all in one go," Mrs Parton added.

When Jack began to complain of back ache, doctors and his mother believed it was post-traumatic stress.

But at the end of January, he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Mrs Parton said they were "distraught".

She said: "Having gone through everything with Ben and, just as we were grieving his loss, it was a hammer blow to find out only two weeks after his funeral that Jack was also fighting cancer."

Image source, Brain Tumour Research
Image caption,
Mrs Parton said Jack was "very poorly" during his initial treatment

Recent tests show Jack is cancer free, but faces a further two years of treatment.

"There are lot of ups and downs, some days are good days, other days are bad days," Mrs Parton said.

She has now backed the charity Brain Tumour Research which wants more investment into researching the disease.

"Other types of cancer, like leukaemia, have a really good success rate, thank goodness, but brain tumours are way behind," she said.

"This will be a legacy for Ben."

Image source, Brain Tumour Research
Image caption,
Jack Parton is now cancer-free

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