The Daily Mail
Identical twins both fight cancer: Girls, 4, fall ill within a week of each other
As identical twins, Megan and Gracie Garwood do everything together.
But the bond between the four-year-olds is even stronger now after an incredibly cruel stroke of fate.
Both were diagnosed with leukaemia within a week of each other.
First Megan, and then Gracie, the elder by two minutes, fell ill and were immediately put on courses of chemotherapy.
Five months on the sisters are still battling the disease - though they are out of hospital and were able to spend Christmas with the family at home.
'To see both girls in hospital undergoing the same treatment side by side was an living nightmare,' said their mother Emma. 'I struggle just to talk about it without getting upset.'
Last August Megan started looking tired and off- colour. Her GP immediately referred her to hospital.
Mrs Garwood, 38, who has another daughter, Martha, two, said: 'Suddenly a doctor says your daughter has cancer and moments later we are being rushed to Addenbrooke's Hospital [in Cambridge] in an ambulance.
Then at midnight you watch your daughter begin chemotherapy.'
Mrs Garwood and her husband Mark, 35, who runs a car dealership in Hatfield Peverel, Essex, were reassured that the chances of Gracie having the same disease were remote. But days later she, too, became unwell.
'We took Gracie to Addenbrooke's and asked if she could be checked,' she said. 'Before we knew it she was moved into the bed next to Megan. It was heartbreaking.
'From that day we did not leave the hospital for nine weeks. You want to stay positive but I experienced some terrible dark moments.'
In November, the family moved to their new home. By then the sisters were being treated as outpatients. But they are still going to hospital every week for chemotherapy and their parents, from High Rougham, Suffolk, have been told it will be at least two years before they can be given the all-clear.
Mrs Garwood said: 'Terrible as it was to have both diagnosed at the same time, if they both had to have it, then much better that they went through it together.'
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is the most common form of cancer in children. If left untreated it can kill within weeks. However, with an early diagnosis, the cure rate in children is more than 80 per cent.