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This is the story of Alexander who was one of the strongest and bravest little boys you could ever meet.
“Alexander (or Lex as we always call him) was born on 11th February 2005 and for the first four years of his life he was a happy, healthy child who loved life, playing with friends, football, playing in the snow, lego, our dog Tilly, and his big sister Olivia.
“However, in early December 2009 Alexander began feeling ill and suffered really bad stomach pains. I took him to our local doctor’s surgery where he was examined by a doctor, who said she could feel a lump in his stomach so she would speak to the consultants at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“We went home and took Alexander back to school as he was feeling fine at this point. However, within an hour we received a phone call from the doctor asking us to take Alexander immediately to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“Here they carried out tests all afternoon and later confirmed any parent’s worst nightmare, that Alexander had a malignant tumour.
on Christmas Eve 2009 Alexander was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma.
“Over the next two years Alexander underwent several different kinds of treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy and in December 2011 scans showed there was no noticeable increase in size. For the first time since 2009 the Strong family had little to worry about and had the ‘best Christmas ever’.
“In January 2012 Alexander underwent a new form of mild out-patient Chemotherapy as a precautionary measure to help inhibit any new growth.
“That was until a lump appeared under Alexander’s left armpit at the end of January. The lump continued to grow and became ‘substantial’ and further biopsy taken in February found the lump was Neuroblastoma. It was in Alexander’s lymph nodes and had spread into other parts of the upper body via the lymphatic system. It was also in his bone marrow.
“This was very bad news as not only had the cancer spread and spread rapidly, but the biopsy determined that it was very aggressive unlike the original tumour in Alexander’s belly that appeared to be static.
“More radiotherapy began which appeared to be quite successful as the lump under his left armpit shrank substantially, followed by high dose chemotherapy. However, in September 2012 we received more bad news, as we were told that Alexander’s cancer had spread to his bones, a thigh, the bottom of his spine and his skull. We were further advised that Alexander’s chance of long term survival was now rather slim.
“In December 2012 we were told about Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice by a Consultant at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“We spent Christmas at home and visited Bluebell Wood at the end of December, returning on 14th to the 18th January. Our time here was difficult at first. I wanted to come with Lex. I knew he was deteriorating and he walked through the doors into Bluebell then couldn’t walk any further. Alexander passed away peacefully on 25th January 2013 age 7yrs.