Grantham cancer patient Charlie, 14, finishes gruelling five months of treatment
A teenage schoolboy has completed a gruelling five months of chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with a rare cancer earlier this year.
Charlie Tatchell, of Wyndham Close, Grantham, was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma in April and was admitted to the Teenage Cancer Ward at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
Charlie, a pupil of Priory Ruskin Academy and the youngest of four brothers, is now back at home following his chemotherapy sessions.
Charlie was diagnosed after he found a growth in his groin. His cancer is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. The symptoms can include enlarged lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, weight loss and tiredness.
His mother Sarah said this week: “He’s finished chemotherapy. They areredoing all the scans ofhis groin area and doing another biopsy on it. They said in the first year we will definitely know if it will come back. Then he is going to be referred back to a spine specialist.”
Doctors said Charlie’s cancer had also spread to his shoulder, some ribs and his lower back.
As soon as Charlie was diagnosed with his cancer, friends and family immediately rallied round and started raising money for him and the children’s cancer ward at QMC. Thousands of pounds were raised which have not only helped Charlie, but also the ward.
A bag packing fund-raiser at Asda raised more than £1,200 which pays for trips for about 180 cancer patients to go to Twycross Zoo.
Priory Ruskin Academy raised hundreds of pounds when staff and students took part in a sponsored walk and fund-raising group Charlie’s Angels held fun days at the Royal Queen pub.
Other charity organisations also stepped in to help. Charlie and his family will take a trip to Florida in May thanks to Wish Upon a Star. The charity also provided a day for Charlie at Rockingham race track where he was able to ride in sports cars.
Sarah added: “Funds raised will also go on spending money for Charlie. I wouldlike to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in fund-raising from us all as a family. Things haven’t been easy for any of us.
“Thank you to all Charlie’s Angels who helped with fund-raising meal at Fox and Hounds and bowling. And also treating QMC patients to Twycross Zoo tickets, and giving cakes and sweets to the ward and nurses. And thank you to the Priory Ruskin Academy and the pupils who have done nothing but support Charlie and also did a few fund-raisers themselves to raise money for the ward."
Sarah said she hopes Charlie will be able to return to school soon, initially for a few hours a week.
At the moment he must go into hospital for blood checks and scans every four weeks.
After Charlie was diagnosed, Sarah urged people of all ages to look out for ‘lumps and bumps’ and see their doctor as soon as possible if anything unusual appears. She said youngsters, in particular, should not be afraid to speak up if they suspect something. She said it was three weeks before Charlie finally told her about the lump in his groin.
Fund-raising organiser Kara Harrison has set up a fund-raising page.
If you would like to make a donation go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/d7hx9e-the-charlie-fund
Kara said: "Charlie’s Angels and others raised £5,760, closer to £6,000 with the bits that haven’t yet been collected. We'd just like to say we’re all so proud of Charlie and glad his treatment is coming to an end. Hopefully, he will get to enjoy his family holiday in peace. It's been a tough journey for the Tatchell family this year and we hope they can finally move on from all this."