Raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity in memory of Reece.
Reece was born on 1st October 2003. We brought him home to his big brother Charlie and our life and family felt complete.
Reece was an amazing little boy, the best son and brother you could wish for. He lived life to the max, and was full of fun, laughter and mischief. Always managing to light up a room with his beautiful smile, even in the hardest moments he could make us crack up. He had a real passion for wildlife and all things deadly 60, and really believed he could be the next Steve Backshall and when he got to meet his idol he asked when they could go on an adventure together. At the very least he wanted to be a wildlife vet - a dream we know he would have made come true. Reece loved his family and friends so much but his kindness and love stretched to people he had only just met and always looked out for other children on the oncology ward at Addenbrookes, sometimes handing out sweets to children who were crying.
In July 2011 Reece began to be sick in the mornings. At first we thought it was just a bug which seemed feasible as the sickness stopped for all of August. In September he was all excited about going to junior school with Charlie but started to be sick again three days later. We took him to the doctors and after ruling out other causes we were sent to the Luton and Dunstable hospital for further tests. The first MRI scan was performed on 19th September, this was the day our world fell apart and Reece was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma. We were taken immediately to Addenbrookes hospital. The medulloblastoma was removed 3 days later. We were told the operation went well, however they needed to go back in as they hadn't managed to remove it all at once and we were also hit with even more devastating news that the tumour was cancerous. After the other operation and an intense course of high strength chemotherapy, in January 2012, we were informed the chemo had worked and Reece was tumour and cancer free - this was absolutely amazing news. Reece soon embarked on a tough course of radiotherapy twice a day for five weeks followed by a long term plan of maintenance chemotherapy. We were plodding along as best we could and learning to deal with the situation we faced, Reece was unbelievable and took everything thrown at him in his stride. He had a shunt fitted to deal with hydrocephalus, MRI scans, lumbar punctures, shingles, you name it he faced it head on with the biggest smile you have ever seen. In the April that year after another MRI it was still good news and all going according to plan.
However, a few months passed and in the summer of 2012 we went on holiday. Whilst we were away all was not well. Reece was not himself and appeared to be in pain at the back of his head where his tumour had been. We drove to Addenbrookes and after another MRI were told his tumour had returned and also spread down his spine. The cancer was so aggressive and he was given just weeks. We took him home and spent our last weeks doing as much together as possible. Reece was so brave, so strong and not once did he complain about his situation or lose his sense of fun. We lost Reece on September 11th 2012 and if there is ever a time we need inspiration, we just remember our son Reece smiling, laughing, joking and dealing with the most difficult times you can ever face in life by example with courage, dignity and maturity beyond his 8 years.
Reece was unique, he adored life and had an infectious personality which only drew people close to him. He is so badly missed by everyone, every minute of every day. We have set up this fund not only to continue Reece's memory but in the hope that one day a cure can be found so that no other family has to experience the loss of live's most precious gift.
Thanks for reading Reecie's story.
Debbie, Steve and Charlie Nelson x