Mother of former Super Eagles goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has recalled the day her son told her he had leukemia.
Jackie Ikeme said it was a day she would never forget which was captured in the footballer’s new book, Why Not Me.
“I won’t ever forget the day of his diagnosis – Wednesday, July 5, 2017. It was about 4 o’clock, and I was at his Nan’s house.
“He phoned me up and said: “Are you alright, Mum?” I said yes, and then he asked if I was at work, and I said: “No, why? What do you want?” It was then that he let out this terrible cry and was sobbing, and he couldn’t get his words out.
“I can still recall the moment vividly, as Carl said that he’d got blood cancer, and feared that he was never going to see his daughter grow up.
Upon receiving the sad news, Jackie rushed to her son’s house just to give him that support.
“I put my arm around him and said I was going to help him get through this, and I said we were going to do this right, because we were only going to do it once.
“I didn’t say it at the time, but of course that thought went through my head: ‘Are we going to lose him?’
“As any parent would say, I would have taken this for myself, rather than to see Carl going through it,” narrated Ikeme’s mum who lost her father at the age of 26.
She said she was relieved that her son was able to overcome the trauma.
“We travelled that journey with him, and tried to do what we could, and he has been incredibly tough and strong all the way.
“Another thing I will always remember, is telling him when we first took him up to Manchester, in that awful time not long after his diagnosis, that we were going to bring him back again at the end.”