Boy gets star for cancer bravery

JPCT-13-12-11 S11501022a  Hawkesbourne Road, Horsham - Alexander Rice, 5, receives a bravery award from Cancer Research  -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-13-12-11 S11501022a Hawkesbourne Road, Horsham - Alexander Rice, 5, receives a bravery award from Cancer Research -photo by steve cobb

A HORSHAM schoolboy who had to learn to walk again after undergoing gruelling cancer treatment has had his courage recognised with a special award from Cancer Research UK.

Alexander Rice, five, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in August last year and after months of tests and treatment he has received a Little Star Award for the bravery he has shown throughout his cancer treatment.

Alexander was nominated by his parents Mark and Corinne of Hawkesbourne Road.

Corinne said: “Despite the treatment, Alexander has been amazing. He has never lost his smile or his joy of living.

“Even though he has been ill and weak, he wants to live the life of a five-year-old. The simple pleasures in life make him so happy. Life is so precious. We love him so much and he deserves a big reward.”

His illness first came to light last summer when he complained of back pain, but his GP said it was growing pains. The agony continued until he was in so much pain he could not run to play football.

After a series of tests at East Surrey Hospital he was diagnosed with leukaemia on the memorable date of Friday August 13.

Mark said: “It is a devastating shock to hear your child has cancer. Even though it is in the back of your mind that something is not right, you still never think it is going to be a life-threatening illness like this.

“ou feel as though your whole world has crumbled around you.”

Alexander began treatment immediately and has undergone months of chemotherapy, steroid treatments, lumbar punctures, blood tests and hospital stays.

He still received chemotherapy every four weeks, but when he is well enough he goes to school and plays in the playground.

Mark said: “He has taken everything in his stride. Even when he was receiving very strong chemotherapy, being sick and losing his hair, he didn’t complain.”