Tuesday, 28 September 2021

All smiles for young cancer survivor

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy who underwent major surgery and months of gruelling cancer treatment is now in remission

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy who underwent major surgery and months of gruelling cancer treatment is now in remission.

Doctors discovered that Samuel Crisford had a 15cm tumour in his right kidney in May last year.

His parents Tom, a PE teacher at Shiplake College, and Rachel, an intensive care nurse, were shocked when he was diagnosed.

Mr Crisford said: ?We were in bits like any parents would be. We have been through an emotional roller coaster but we had complete faith in his recovery.?

Samuel was three when his parents took him to accident and emergency after he fell and became unwell.

Doctors were concerned after feeling his stomach and they ordered an immediate scan which found the tumour. Samuel was transferred to a specialist unit in Oxford where further tests confirmed he was suffering from Wilms? tumour.

He started six weeks of chemotherapy to shrink the growth and in July last year had surgery to remove it.

He then started what was to be several more months of chemotherapy which made him sick and caused high temperatures that kept him in hospital.

Samuel was unable to stay still and had to be anaesthetised 15 times for a course of life-saving radiotherapy treatment. Mrs Crisford said: ?Samuel was unbelievable during treatment. He was always smiling and never complained. We are so proud of him.?

He received a total of 260 Beads of Courage ? one for each procedure he faced during treatment. A purple heart received in February this year confirmed he had beaten cancer.

The Beads of Courage programme is designed to provide an additional treatment and offers support for children and teenagers undergoing serious illness and treatments.

Samuel, who attends the Heights Primary School in Caversham, now has three-monthly check-ups and will be closely monitored for several years.

Mr Crisford added: ?Samuel has faced more in his young life than most adults will ever have to go through and all with his cheerfulness and zest for life.

?His cancer journey will always inspire us. We feel so fortunate as we are only too aware that not every child makes it.

?Staff at The Heights Primary School have been very supportive. Samuel continues to amaze us with his endless energy. He is doing really well and loving school and all the excitement it brings.?

His sister Daisy, three, spent a lot of time with grandparents but coped well with being separated from her parents and brother during his treatment.

The family are now supporting Cancer Research UK?s new Kids & Teens campaign, in partnership with TK Maxx, which aims to raise money for research into cancers affecting children, teens and young adults.

The couple are also committed fund-raisers. Mr Crisford had his head shaved at the same time as Samuel lost his hair during treatment.

As a result Team Samuel was formed and it has now raised almost £20,000 to help other young cancer survivors.

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