THE family of an eight-year-old Sundon Park boy suffering from a brain tumour say they have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity their community has shown.
Reece Nelson, of Rosfold Road, was diagnosed with cancer in September, and is being treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
His illness has been labelled “curable”, but family were devastated when, after two operations to remove the tumour, further scans just a few weeks later showed it had returned, and appeared to have had spread to his spine.
Louise Castleman and Donna Tappin, friends of Reece’s parents Debbie and Steve, decided they wanted to do something to help, and took just two weeks to organise a fundraising fete, which was held at Sundon Park Junior School, where Reece is a pupil, on Saturday.
In just four hours the event raised £7,500, and there is still more money to come in from auction bids.
Reece’s grandad, Trevor Warner, of Pinewood Close, went along to the fete with Reece’s older brother, nine-year-old Charlie.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Trevor, 61. “We want to say a huge thank you to the organisers, the school, and everyone who attended and donated money or items for the raffle, auction and tombola.
“It’s so easy to knock people but the community spirit has been wonderful.”
The family are yet to decide what the money will be spent on, but it is likely Reece and Charlie will be taken on a trip to the Hamleys toy store in London.
Reece first became poorly in September with what seemed like a stomach bug that kept coming back. He was them referred for an MRI scan, which revealed the tumour.
“Our lives were shattered,” said Trevor. “It came completely out of the blue. He was immediately transferred to Addenbrooke’s and they operated on him three days later.”
Reece is under the care of one of the country’s top neurosurgeons, Helen Fernandes, who has prepared a 66-week treatment plan for him.
“He’s going through an extensive course of chemo and radiotherapy at the moment but his spirits are high,” said his grandad.
“We are hoping to have him home for Christmas but you just don’t know.
“They’ve said it’s curable so that’s the thought that you have to just grab on to and hope.”