The proud parents of a young Sheffield cancer survivor have received their best Christmas present a little early – as their son celebrates being 18 months cancer-free.
Brave Max Davies, aged eight, will celebrate the festive period at home in Beighton, with his parents Craig and Sarah and big sister Lily, after receiving the positive news.
Since the youngster’s diagnosis, his family have been living life just a few months at a time, but dad Craig says they can now enjoy a relaxing Christmas.
He said: “The news was great timing as it means we can have quality time as a family over Christmas without any hospital appointments to worry about.
“Last Christmas was good as we’d had a terrible year and it was the first opportunity we had to spend time as a family – but this Christmas should be even better.
“We’ve reached the 18-month milestone and Max has much more strength to play and enjoy. Last year he was still quite weak from the treatment and had lost a lot of weight.”
Max was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February 2013, after stomach aches turned out to be a tumour on his bowel.
After having the tumour removed at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, little Max underwent three months of aggressive chemotherapy to treat the cancer, which made him sick, lose his hair and get ulcers.
Craig said: “It was horrendous. It’s a difficult feeling to describe. Our perfect life just unravelled.
“As much as they told us it was treatable, and that the prognosis was good, all you hear is cancer and you think you are going to lose your child.
“He was so poorly, but he was still so positive – his strength was phenomenal. We are so proud of him.”
Since recovering from his treatment, Max – who was named a Star Superkid last year – has returned to Brook House Junior School in Beighton, and appears the same as any other child in his class.
Craig said: “Looking at Max now you wouldn’t know what he has been through. He’s fine and is excited about Christmas.
“He’s a massive Sheffield United fan so I think if Santa brings anything football or wresting related he will be happy.”
To thank the hospital that saved Max, the Davies family have raised almost £15,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity, through a variety of fundraisers.
Craig said: “The support we have had from everyone has been amazing.”