Little Charlie undergoes latest course of chemotherapy

Charlie Ryan evidently enjoying his VIP tour of Long Stratton motors and their glamorous cars. Phot

Charlie Ryan evidently enjoying his VIP tour of Long Stratton motors and their glamorous cars. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

The parents of a seriously ill boy thanked the people of Norfolk for their support after the five-year-old underwent his first course of chemotherapy after being rediagnosed with cancer.

The family of Charlie Ryan had thought the little boy had fought off neuroblastoma - cancer of the nervous system - after 19 months of treatment. However, they were told earlier this year that the aggressive cancer had returned and spread to his brain.

Norwich Evening News readers rallied in support of the boy last month after he and his parents, who now live in Australia, returned to Norfolk to visit family for a holiday.

The five-year-old was treated to a flight in a helicopter, a journey in a Hummer limousine, and got to sit in a host of sports cars during his visit to the county. He was also a mascot at Norwich City's home game against Swansea before the family flew back to Perth, Australia, on April 7.

His parents, Sam Stroud and Tony Ryan, who both used to work for Norfolk Police, said a scan had revealed the neuroblastoma had progressed quite quickly in the last six weeks, especially in Charlie's brain.

In a message on 'Charlie our superhero' Facebook page, they said their son had an operation yesterday to have a port fitted and to start a course of chemotherapy.

They said: 'Surgery went well and first bag of chemo done. He's still a bit groggy but must be feeling a bit better as just asked for some food. Thank you for all your well wishes and support. He is still incredibly brave and taking it all in his stride.'

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His family have been told that there is no known cure for relapsed neuroblastoma. A host of fundraising activities have been held in Norfolk for the Charlie Ryan Fund to raise around £300,000 for clinical trials in Germany, which could prolong his life by up to another 12 months.

To donate visit