Beating the Odds

Jennifer and Jasper Henbridge are twins. Both are diagnosed with "Black Vein Disease" when they are just six years old, they are told that the disease will give them only a few years to live. Both children beat the odds and fight through until reaching aged eighteen. Jennifer's dreams of becoming a vet are shattered and Jasper is forced to pull out of the navy. The twins beat the odds once, but can they do it the next time the doctor says that they have months to live?


3. School

Four Years Later

"Come on Jennifer! You'll be late for your first day of school! Sweetheart, what are you doing up there?" Sarah shouted up the stairs to her four year old daughter.

"Just coming mummy," her child shouted back down.

"Well hurry up, whatever you're doing it can wait until later. We will leave without you otherwise."

"You wouldn't mummy, would you?" Her son looked up at her with his bright, brown eyes.

Sarah looked down at her other four year old, "no of course not, I'm trying to get her to hurry up. Can you go and see what she's doing?"

Jasper nodded, dropped his book-bag and lunchbox on the floor before dashing upstairs to his twin sister. "Come on Jen, mum's waiting."

"I told her that I was just coming down," Jen shouted through her closed bedroom door.

"What are you doing?" he pushed open the door to find his sister making her bed. She was struggling as she couldn't quite reach over to tuck the duvet in properly.

"I heard daddy say to mummy yesterday that mummy should teach us how to make our own bed, because mummy is too busy before she goes to work." Jen smoothed over her covers once more, before grabbing her bags from the floor and following her brother back downstairs.

"At last! Let's get in the car and go, eventually!" Sarah said briskly as soon as the children had hit the bottom step of the stairs.


"Oh dear, we're a little bit late. I wonder who's fault that is!" Sarah accused her little girl as the sprinted over the deserted playground to the foundation class. She knocked on the door, which opened to reveal a colourful classroom, with a group of small children sat on the carpet listening to a friendly looking teacher. "Sorry we're late, Jen here took a while to get ready this morning."

"It's okay, the children can put their things over in the cloakroom over there and sit on the carpet with the others." The classroom assistant pointed first to the cloakroom, then to the carpet. Jen and Jasper followed these instructions and settled on the carpet without a backward glance. "They'll be fine, don't you worry Mrs..?"

"Henbridge. When do I collect them?" Sarah turned her attention away from her small children and focused on the T.A stood in front of her.

"These little ones go home at either 12 o'clock or 1 o'clock. They can go home for lunch and leave at 12 or stay for lunch and leave at 1. What would you prefer?"

"Well, they do have their lunches, so they can stay until 1 o'clock. If that's alright?"

"Yep, that's fine, see you then Mrs Henbridge."

Sarah took one last look at the children before heading home.


"How was your day then, sweetheart?" Sarah said to Jennifer who was sat in the back of the car, playing with some plasticine model that she had made. "Better than your brothers?" Jasper was curled up on the other back seat, tears running down his face and occasionally sniffing.

"Yes mummy, mine was wonderful. I love school!" Jen put down the model on the empty seat between her and Jasper, and started to play with a playmobil person that had been dropped on the floor last time they were in the car. "Mummy?"

"Yes sweetie?"

"Why is Jasper crying?" It was an innocent question, but Sarah thought that Jen should know why her brother is upset.

"I thought you said that you had seen what had happened?" The traffic lights changed to red and she slowed the car to a stop, she took the opportunity to look back at Jasper who was still crying.

"I did."

"Then why are you asking me why he is crying? I don't really know what happened, can you tell me Jen, as your brother isn't?"

"Well, he was playing with the Zoo set with another two boys. One of the boys wanted to play with the dinosaurs, he wanted them to go in the zoo too. Jasper told him that dinosaurs don't belong in Zoos and continued the game by himself. The boy who wanted the dinosaurs pushed Jasper over and shouted at him that he was ruining it and they didn't want to play with him anymore. Jasper hurt his back and hands when he fell over and started crying. The other boy started laughing at Jasper and told him that he was a crybaby and belonged in nursery." Jen put down the plastic person and watched her mother's reaction to her story, she started bumping her legs against the seat to indicate that she had exhausted her toys and was now bored.

"Jasper, honey, can you tell me what the other two boy's names are?" Sarah eased their car around the corner to their street, Jasper mumbled a response that wasn't quite loud enough. "What Jasp?"

"Charlie and George," he mumbled more clearly. "They got told off by the teacher and I'm not allowed to play with them now."

"Well that's a good thing isn't it?" Sarah carefully put the brakes on when she had parked up on their driveway. She was shocked to see her husband's van already there. "Oh look kids, daddy's home already!"

"Yay!" Cried Jen as she clambered out of the car, she slammed the door behind her and dashed into the house.

Sarah smiled after her daughter and turned round to Jasper who was still belted in, "come on Jasp, let's go in and see daddy. He might even treat you and play a game of football with you!"

He smiled weakly at her through his tears, unclipped his seatbelt, popped the door open and followed his sister's trail into the house.

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