Little Ellis has so far undergone nine rounds of chemotherapy while battling stage 4 aggressive neuroblastoma.
Every person including adults and children hope to be with their dear ones during the festive season of Christmas. However, some circumstances often hinder them from having to celebrate together. Six-year-old Ellis has been battling stage 4 aggressive neuroblastoma at the Southampton hospital since his diagnosis. The young boy was checked for cancer after losing weight rapidly. The doctors told his parents, Carly and Andrew that their little boy had to undergo life-threatening surgery.
In October 2019, the little boy underwent surgery to remove a large tumor from his lungs. “We were told we should say our goodbyes beforehand. As we waited, Andrew and I sat in silence on our bed at Jean’s House, an oasis of calm when we most needed it,” recalled the mother of two to Mirror.
While the surgery was a success and the family is relieved, the little boy's chances of survival are still 50-50. “Ellis was so sick that he couldn’t talk or open his eyes,” said Carly. “It was heartbreaking. His survival is far from guaranteed but, for the first time in months, we feel positive," said Carly.
The family moved from their home that was 33 miles away from the hospital, to Jean's House that's located just a few minutes from the hospital.
Jean's House is one of the 10 Home from Homes across the UK, run by the children’s cancer charity, and meant for family members of cancer patients, so they can be closer to their loved ones in the time of need. "It can take an hour to travel each way from our home to see Ellis, so to be minutes away has been a lifeline," recalled the mother.
With Christmas round the corner, Ellis is happy and looking forward to reuniting with his family at Jean's House to celebrate the occasion. After spending a whole month in isolation due to his ninth round of chemotherapy, Ellis can't hide the joy of getting to spend the day with his brother, William, and family.
The family is all set to have dinner together on day of Christmas. The family thanked CLIC Sargent’s Christmas Appeal for providing them with all the facilities. “Without CLIC Sargent’s help I don’t know how we’d have coped these past few months,” said Carly. “To have Christmas together in amazing facilities, for free, it means everything."
The young boy too thanked the initiative and encouraged others to support it. “I can’t wait for Christmas at Jean’s House with my family. Please help CLIC Sargent to help other children with cancer have mums and dads close by.” Meanwhile, money has been raised to build two new Home From Homes in Manchester and Newcastle. This will enable more families to celebrate special occasions with their cancer-stricken dear ones.