Newport boy going through ‘hardest part of cancer journey’

PUBLISHED: 09:28 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:07 13 August 2020

Archie has been receiving cancer treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital for a month. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

Archie has been receiving cancer treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital for a month. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

Supplied by Archie's family

A four-year-old boy who beat coronavirus while fighting cancer is now going through the hardest part of his cancer treatment.

Off to Hogwarts. Archie kept his spirits high before his weeks-long cancer treatment. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.Off to Hogwarts. Archie kept his spirits high before his weeks-long cancer treatment. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

Archie Wilks has been fighting neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer, since his stage four diagnosis in January 2019.

He is currently receiving stem cells doctors took out last year, and that is having a hit on his body.

In April this year, Archie got admitted in the hospital with Covid-19, despite measures the parents took to protect his immunosuppressed body.

Although he overcame coronavirus and most of his cancerous spots have been cleared after his last cancer treatment in January, his dad, Simon Wilks, said this is a particularly challenging time.

Archie has been receiving cancer treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital for a month. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.Archie has been receiving cancer treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital for a month. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

“The hardest part of Archie’s treatment is happening now,” he said.

“They will have a few spots left. We don’t know what is next until they have done scans. They are hoping to do surgery and get rid of the original tumour in his adrenal gland.”

Archie spent the past month in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, with Simon and his wife, Harriet, swapping hospital stays every seven days and doing coronavirus swabs before coming in.

Simon said: “He is a bit poorly it’s hard with chemotherapy and stem cell. The chemotherapy attacks his body and is really strong.”

Simon Wilks has been taking turns with his wife, Harriet, to keep Archie company. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.Simon Wilks has been taking turns with his wife, Harriet, to keep Archie company. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

But Archie is stronger – he has more than 1,400 “bravery beads” to remind him of each challenge he overcame.

Each bead represents something different. A blood transfusion would get Archie a red-coloured bead. A major injection, a green one.

“It’s a nice idea that someone has created. We thought that if we hang them up he can remind himself of how far he has come and how strong he is,” Simon said.

Archie has also received Harry Potter-themed gifts during his hospital stay. The presents came from the parents of a child who was treated for cancer in Addebrooke’s.

Archie had to wave through the hospital windows at his twin brother Henry. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.Archie had to wave through the hospital windows at his twin brother Henry. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

The family is still fundraising for a vaccine Archie could do in America to prevent the cancer from coming back but, although near the target, the pandemic has been making fundraising difficult. Simon said: “We had a celebrity football match this summer, but that has been cancelled.

“We did it with Saffron Walden Football Club last year, it raised nearly £20,000. They were down to do it again this year.”

If you want to donate for Archie, go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/archiesjourney

Twin brother Henry went to see Archie through hospital windows. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.Twin brother Henry went to see Archie through hospital windows. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

Archie received Harry Potter gifts from family friends who were also seeking cancer treatment for their child in Addenbrooke's. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.Archie received Harry Potter gifts from family friends who were also seeking cancer treatment for their child in Addenbrooke's. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

Archie has his bravery beads with him to remind him of how strong he is. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.Archie has his bravery beads with him to remind him of how strong he is. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

More than 1,400 beads represent each step of Archie's cancer journey - from injections to blood transfusions. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.More than 1,400 beads represent each step of Archie's cancer journey - from injections to blood transfusions. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.

Archie is still in good spirits despite a very difficult treatment. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.Archie is still in good spirits despite a very difficult treatment. Photo: Supplied by Archie's family.


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