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Little Boy, 6, Rings Bell To Mark End Of Three-Year Cancer Battle

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Little Boy, 6, Rings Bell To Mark End Of Three-Year Cancer Battle

A six-year-old boy has marked the end of his lengthy battle with cancer by ringing the bell at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, offering a ray hope to countless other patients.

Archie Wilks was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, in January 2019 after becoming so ill he could not stand up.

Two tumours were found around the youngster's kidney and spine before the disease had spread to other areas, including his bones and bone marrow.

In March 2020, in the midst of his treatment, Archie tested positive for Covid-19, but offered hope to many more unwell children when he pulled through and made a recovery.

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Archie has officially rung the hospital bell. Credit: PA
Archie has officially rung the hospital bell. Credit: PA

After two more years of cancer treatment, the six-year-old has finally celebrated his full remission, and rang the bell at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

Thrilled parents Harriet, 32, and Simon, 34, called it an "amazing and very emotional day" as they joined Archie for his milestone moment, alongside his twin brother Henry.

“There were times, especially in the first year of treatment, that we didn’t see this moment ever happening,” said Mr Wilks.

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“Finally seeing Archie ring the bell was an unexplainable experience, and witnessing people’s reactions since has really made us feel the magnitude of what he has achieved."

He continued: “Archie and Henry have both been so strong throughout the journey and, because of their age, it’s strange to wonder if they’ll ever realise what we’ve all been through.”

Archie's parents and twin brother Henry joined him for the milestone moment. Credit: PA
Archie's parents and twin brother Henry joined him for the milestone moment. Credit: PA

During his time in hospital over the last four years, Archie's family have regularly been separated from the tot, with one parent staying at home to take care of his brother Henry.

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Now that Archie is set to go back home again, the family's top priority is gradually getting him back into "a flow of normal life", helping him to catch up in school, and "build his strength."

Mr Wilks raved: “He’s so resilient and got a great first school report, even though he’s missed at least 80% of the first two years.

“We hope to build ourselves back up and have some fun over the summer. It’s definitely been a stressful time, especially the last few months waiting on results and Archie’s treatment coming to a close.

“We can’t thank enough the NHS, the doctors, nurses, scientists and everyone who has helped and supported us and helped Archie to this stage.”

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Archie's family are now focused on rebuilding his strength and helping him to catch up on school. Credit: PA
Archie's family are now focused on rebuilding his strength and helping him to catch up on school. Credit: PA

Neuroblastoma affects approximately 100 children each year in the UK and is most common in children under the age of five.

Mr Wilks noted that 50 percent of children successfully treated for neuroblastoma will relapse, and of those who relapse, 90% will not survive.

Archie's family and friends have successfully raised more than £230,000 to enable Archie to take part in a vaccine trial in the US which could reduce the chance of the cancer returning.

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He did not fit the criteria for a vaccine trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York but the family are now consulting with another medical group about a different US trial.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@archiesjourney

Topics: News, Health

Ali Condon
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