'Little fighter' Hector, six, on road to recovery after cancer diagnosis
A six-year-old boy has been hailed as a "little fighter" and "inspiration" after several months of gruelling cancer treatment.
Hector Ives-Wilkinson, from St Faiths Road in Old Catton, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in April 2021 aged five after he experienced severe agony in his feet, requiring him to go to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) accident and emergency department.
After a swift diagnosis by medics he was transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary where he stayed for two weeks.
His intensive chemotherapy treatment continued for nine months at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and at the NNUH.
Hector's mother, Lou Ives-Wilkinson, 40, who has a nine-year-old daughter, felt positive about Hector's future after he ended the treatment before Christmas.
The Heather Avenue Infant School pupil will have to carry on taking medication at home over the next three years while his condition is monitored.
Miss Ives-Wilkinson, an interior designer, said: "When we were told about the leukaemia everything stopped and went into slow motion.
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"It was amazing how quickly the treatment started.
"Hector has been amazing. He has taken everything in his stride. Kids are so resilient. He has been so brave, strong and an inspiration.
"He is a very loving, happy-go-lucky person and is determined. I feel he will be unstoppable and the experience will give him that extra strength. He believed he would get past this. Hector is a little fighter."
She said he was in remission a long time ago thanks to the chemotherapy.
Miss Ives-Wilkinson added her son's overall health has improved dramatically meaning he can enjoy his favourite things - cycling, exploring the outdoors and going rock pooling.
The interior designer described the end of the intensive chemotherapy as a milestone adding: "It made Christmas Day extra special. This new year has been a fresh start. We have come through the hardest part. There have been some dark days. This year is hopefully going to have a bit more normality for us."
She encouraged families going through similar situations to stay positive and accept help.
Hector is hoping to return to school full-time and the family is fundraising for £10,000 to redecorate the family rooms and wards at Jenny Lind Children's Hospital, part of NNUH, through cycling challenges.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/norwichchildrensward
What is leukaemia?
Anyone can get acute lymphoblastic leukaemia but most cases develop in children, teenagers and young adults.
The condition affects white blood cells which help fight infection and diseases.
It is rare, with around 790 people diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK but despite this it is the most common type of leukaemia that affects children.
About 85pc of the cases that affect children happen in those younger than 15 (mostly between the ages of 0 and five).
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia affects slightly more boys than girls.
Symptoms include bone and joint pain, a purple skin rash, easily bruised skin, unusual and frequent bleeding including bleeding gums and nosebleeds, repeated infections over a short period of time.
Visit www.leukaemiauk.org.uk for more information