How mum of Sunderland schoolboy is thanking medics after he was diagnosed with leukaemia aged just three
The mum of a Sunderland schoolboy who is battling cancer has launched a charity t-shirt to give something back to those that have supported him in the toughest of times.
Preety Randhawa, 36, from Ashbrooke, faced every parent’s worst nightmare when her son Saahib was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was three-years-old.
The mum-of-two had noticed a change in her eldest child’s character, that he’d become pale and had lost his enthusiasm for playing, but she never imagined it was cancer.
“We’d taken him back and forth to the doctors, but they said it was viral,” explained Preety. “He’d been having nosebleeds at nursery, but we never thought it would be something like leukaemia. Then one day I picked him up from nursery and his face was so soulless. I took him straight to A&E at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
"It was our worst nightmare when we eventually got the diagnosis.”
Saahib is now six-years-old, is nearing the end of three-and-a-half years of chemotherapy treatments, and manages to juggle hospital visits to Newcastle’s RVI hospital with lessons at Argyle House school.
The demands of treatment meant Preety had to rethink her career, however. Although she enjoyed her job as a teacher at Newcastle High School, she needed more flexibility so she could be there for Saahib.
"Work was very understanding,” explained Preety who is also mum to Mia, three. “But my priority was Saahib and if he was ill I couldn’t go into work as he’d need to be at home. He’s dealt with it all really well, especially going through all the side effects of chemotherapy. Our friends and family have been so supportive too.”
To give her more agile working hours, the mum set up a fashion business, Mimi’s Edit, which has since made sales all around the world.
The business, which specialises in women’s clothes and accessories from a number of different suppliers, has proved particularly successful in lockdown with more people turning to buying online instead of on the high street.
"Fashion has always been a passion of mine and before I moved to the North East, I had jobs with Louis Vuitton and Selfridges,” explained the businesswoman, who is originally from Birmingham.
"When I moved here there were less opportunities in fashion and I became a food and textiles teacher, but it’s something I’ve always been interested in. It’s a real passion of mine.”
Now, Preety is using the popularity of the brand to help give something back to NECCR, North of England Children's Cancer Research, who’ve supported her family through Saahib’s treatment.
She’s launched a “Don’t Kill My Vibe” sweater and t-shirt with all proceeds from the garment, which is printed locally, going towards the charity, which helps funds clinical trials and vital research into childhood cancers.
"The charity has been amazing and we really wanted to give something back and to know that it was going to help children in this area,” she explained.
You can order a Don’t Kill My Vibe t-shirt from the Mimi’s Edit website at mimisedit.co.uk