"Everything changed in my life when Sven got sick. We were fine, me, Mum, Sven. Then next thing, he’s in hospital and Mum’s all over the place. He got some sort of cancer. He was only 8.
Suddenly, I had to sort everything out at home. Mum was hardly ever around early on, and even when she was, she wasn’t really. She was really worried. She’d cry a lot too. I did loads more at home to try to help. Washing, buying food and stuff. But it was tough. I was worried too.
At school, they knew something was up. I was late a lot and didn’t get my work done on time. I didn’t get to football practise. Mr Hutchins, my Head of Year, called me in for a chat. He was really helpful. I told him what was going on with Sven. He knew Dad wasn’t around anymore and asked if anyone else could help out a bit. I told him after Nan died, we didn’t really have anyone else. So he saw I had a lot on my plate.
He phoned Mum. He wasn’t interfering, just trying to help. He said they were missing me at football and told her how good I was. Then he said it’d be good for me to go to homework club more; so I could get my work done and she could stay at the hospital with Sven for longer.
They were only little things when you think about it, but they really helped. I could be myself again, playing football, even if it was just for a few hours a week. I wasn’t as behind with my work either. And Mr Hutchins kept an eye on me. I went to see him if I was having a rough day. It was good he knew about Sven; I didn’t have to keep explaining.
Sven's home now. He’s not better yet, but he’s getting there. And he’s so brave about it all, he makes me feel stronger just being with him."