THE courageous family of an 11- year-old girl fighting leukaemia have told how they take each day as a blessing.

Sadie Ford, who also has Asperger’s syndrome, was diagnosed with cancer of the blood cells after suffering sore legs and noticing a lump in her throat.

Doctors originally thought she was experiencing growing pains.

Her mother and full-time carer Jessica Ford, 35, of Haslemere Road, Wickford, said: “Until the diagnosis, for me, it was adults who got cancer, not children.

“When doctors told me, I felt numb and in disbelief.

“The next stage was trying to figure out how to tell Sadie she had leukaemia.

“She hardly had any symptoms.

The doctor’s surgerywe took Sadie to thought it was growing pains, but it wasn’t.”

Mrs Ford, who lives with Sadie, her seven-year-old daughter Lilly and electrician husband Sam, said she could not cope without the support of her mum, and staff at Basildon Hospital.

She added: “Sadie’s leg pain got worse, so I took her to Basildon Hospital, where they carried out tests and told us to go to Great Ormond Street right away.

“I was on my own when I was told she had cancer.

“Now we take each day as a blessing.

“Sadie still gets incredibly poorly and very sick, but the treatment we have had at Basildon Hospital has been incredible and the staff have been great.

“From the bottom of my heart there is that tiny bit of doubt that Sadie will pull through, but I know a lot of people do pull through.

“As a family we are strong and we are happy.”

The family have cancelled a holiday to Turkey this summer, so Sadie can undergo chemotherapy.

The former Wickford Junior School pupil, who loves to sing and dance, is currently being homeschooled.