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Mum shares heartbreaking story of seven-year-old’s rare cancer fight

PUBLISHED: 15:46 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:04 30 July 2020

The Bellinger family never expected lockdown to be easy, but when their seven-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, their world was turned upside down overnight. Photo: Provided

The Bellinger family never expected lockdown to be easy, but when their seven-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, their world was turned upside down overnight. Photo: Provided

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The Bellinger family never expected lockdown to be easy, but when their seven-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, their world was turned upside down overnight.

Just two days before the lockdown began, Finnie Bellinger, the eldest child in the family of four, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Photo: ProvidedJust two days before the lockdown began, Finnie Bellinger, the eldest child in the family of four, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Photo: Provided

Just two days before the lockdown began, Finnie Bellinger, the eldest child in the family of four, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. The next day his chemotherapy treatment began.

“It has been gruelling and intense,” his mother Kellie said. “This is news that no family should ever have to face, but during a pandemic and in lockdown, it has been incredibly hard.”

Now the family, from Haddiscoe, are sharing their story to increase awareness of the uncommon disease, and to raise funds for the hospitals who have been “a source of strength and support during this difficult time”.

Kellie shared that: “Finnie was poorly for eight weeks prior to lockdown, and literally two weeks before the lockdown I became really concerned as his health deteriorated quite markedly.

Seven-year-old Finnie with his sister Isla. Photo: ProvidedSeven-year-old Finnie with his sister Isla. Photo: Provided

“I thought, ‘we need to get this resolved as the country is facing lockdown’, and then he was diagnosed. We were transferred by ambulance from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and admitted to Addenbrooke’s children’s oncology ward for treatment.

“The team have been incredible and I cannot commend the staff more highly. We are astonished at the care.”

While Finnie’s treatment will take another three years, his mum said: “His prognosis is really good and he’s responding to treatment really, really well.”

She added: “Everyone has said we haven’t stopped smiling, and that’s because of their support – it has sustained us. We have had prayers offered at Norwich Cathedral, meals delivered to us from friends and bags of Percy Pig sweets given to Finnie to help his medicines go down. We feel very blessed indeed to be surrounded by such love.”

While Finnie’s treatment will take another three years, his mum said: “His prognosis is really good and he’s responding to treatment really, really well.” Photo: ProvidedWhile Finnie’s treatment will take another three years, his mum said: “His prognosis is really good and he’s responding to treatment really, really well.” Photo: Provided

Many friends, colleagues, and family to Finnie have been raising funds to support other children fighting cancer.

Finnie’s aunt has raised £2,705 by shaving her head, while his dad Tony raised £3,652 with his friends by running more than 2,000 miles in a month.

This Sunday, August 2, family friend Neil Russell will be cycling between the two hospitals and back in a day, in order to raise funds for the Norfolk-based Children’s Cancer Charity Finnbar’s Force. He has already raised £1,500. You can donate here.


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