Family of nine-year-old boy unites for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

A nine-year-old Sheffield boy is raising funds for the hospital where he is currently being treated for cancer.

Friday, 16th August 2019, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 6:34 pm
Sam and his pup pal Pip

Along with his family and friends, Sam Hunt has already raised over £4,000 to help transform the cancer and leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Sam is halfway through treatment for a cute lymphoblastic L eukaemia and began organising the money to say thank you for the ‘fantastic care’ he’s receiving. More than 160 people took part in a 5km sponsored walk last month, organised by the family of the Dronfield boy, as well as a family fun day at Norton Country Club.

In January 2018, Sam came home from school and told his m um his arm was hurting. He was taken to his local hospital where it was initially thought he had fractured his arm, but an x-ray came back all-clear. Sam was discharged but the pain continued and spread to his hip. After three further visits to his local A&E and a blood test, Sam was referred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for further investigation. By the next day, a bone marrow biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. The condition, which affects around 325 children in the UK every year, is caused by a genetic mutation which releases immature white blood cells into the blood stream. It progresses with speed, requiring immediate treatment.

Sam began a course of intense chemotherapy which lasted for the next seven months. He was admitted to the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, often for two-week spells at a time, due to the side-effects of the treatment.

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Although he is now able to have maintenance chemotherapy administered daily at home, he continues to return to hospital regularly and Sam’s family have been told he will continue treatment until April 2021.

Sam’s mum Liz said: “My colleagues came up with this great initiative to show their support to Sam and our family. The care is outstanding, but the facilities look a little tired. The only way to stay by Sam’s side was to sleep on a fold-out chair next to his bed.

“Experiences like this open up your mind to what others are going through - some patients are undergoing treatment for more than a year. It’s really nice to think of the money we’ve raised, if we can make it better for the next family that goes through this, it will be more than worth it.”