In loving memory of Luke Bell

Luke was a cheeky, kind and loving boy who loved having fun and asking questions. He was super competitive, which stretched to his keen interest in gaming, particularly Roblox, Minecraft, Super Mario and following his favourite YouTuber, Dan TDM.

We were deeply saddened when Luke passed away in December 2018. He displayed immense courage and bravery to fight this horrible disease. Our love and thoughts are with his family as they remember the incredible impact Luke had on so many lives.

Luke’s story

Luke leans on a railing and smiles

Luke was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in Spring 2017, a particularly rare and aggressive childhood cancer. After beating the disease once, he sadly suffered a relapse in April 2018.

He had displayed symptoms that were originally passed off as typical childhood ailments such as a virus, growing pains, and ‘something going around school.’ But he looked pale, seemed to have less energy and his appetite was poor.

After a couple of months, Luke started asking to be carried because his legs were tired and he developed a little limp in his right leg. After he began to fall asleep at school his parents insisted on blood tests being taken by his GP. The same day the initial tests were done, his mum took a very worrying phone call to say that Luke had to attend the local hospital that evening for more tests and by the next morning, he was taken by ambulance to the Newcastle RVI as an emergency case after a doctor confirmed that the tests revealed something that was ‘suggestive of cancer’.

Over the next few days, further tests were carried out and it looked increasingly like the diagnosis would be leukaemia. But something new had been picked up in the tests and scans and the high-risk neuroblastoma diagnosis came through.

Treatment

Luke endured countless blood and platelet transfusions, a number of gruelling rounds of treatment, including high dose chemotherapy, eight hours of surgery to remove a tumour above his adrenal glands and a round of radiation therapy.

Just before Christmas 2017, scans and tests confirmed that Luke was finally clear of disease. Described by the family as “the best present ever!”

But in April 2018 a routine scan identified two new spots of disease and a relapse was confirmed.

A new treatment plan was immediately put in place and a new course of chemotherapy commenced. Unfortunately, it had no impact at all and another two new spots of disease became apparent on a subsequent MIBG scan.

Luke became the first patient to be enrolled on the MiNivAN Trial on 25th August 2018, a brand new international clinical trial partly funded by Solving Kids’ Cancer.

But sadly the trial did not have the effect that we all hoped and Luke passed away just before Christmas.

His page will remain open in his memory.