South Tyneside family's cruel blow as mother and son both diagnosed with cancer
A mother and son both undergoing treatment for cancer have shared the story of their brave fight against the disease.
Steven McConkey, 31, from Jarrow, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on June 30, 2016, and was given just a 40% chance of beating it.
But the courageous dad-of-two has been tackling it head on and has spent the last three years receiving chemotherapy treatment at the Phoenix Unit in Sunderland.
Throughout it all Steven has had the support of his family, but on July 22 this year they were dealt with another blow after mum Maria Scott, 51, was also diagnosed with cancer.
Doctors told Maria that she had triple-negative breast cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes and the brave mum has now started her own chemotheraphy treatment at South Tyneside District Hospital.
The Jarrow grandmother-of-four said: “Three years ago Stephen complained of pain in his knees and I said it could be arthritis, so we took him to the doctors for a blood test.
“The following day doctors came back with the diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Steven was 29 at the time.
“He was given just a 40% chance of beating it and has been undergoing chemotherapy for three years with the aim of finishing it in March time next year.
“It has been a tough time for him, as he has two little boys – Owen, 12, and Jax, four, and a fiance Laura Taggart.”
Then, after years of supporting her son, mum-of three Maria, found that she also faced a similar battle after doctors diagnosed her with cancer.
Maria, who is married to Keith Scott, and is also grandmother to Grace,9, and Hunter, one, said she began her chemotheraphy treatment on August 22.
Following the chemotheraphy Maria will need to undergo surgery and radiotheraphy.
But despite it all Maria and Steven have thrown their efforts into raising funds for Macmillan having experienced first hand the care provided by Macmillan nurses.
Maria also thanked her children Deni and Daniel McConkey, her mother-in-law Margaret Scott, and husband Keith Scott for their support throughout.
Former care home manager Maria said: “Macmillan has been invaluable.
“From providing emotional support to financial help and other therapies they have just been brilliant.
“We held a Macmillan coffee morning event at the Greyhound Inn, Jarrow, on Friday, September 27, as a way of giving back to them and the support we have received has been overwhelming.
“It has raised around £1,400 and more money is still to come in.”