In loving memory of Joseph Yeandle

We are so sorry to share the news that beautiful Joseph passed away on December 27 2021.

His family shared this message on social media:

"We are completely devastated to say that our little superhero, Joseph, passed away this morning. Our hearts have broken into a million pieces. We have no other words. We can't thank you all enough for your support this year and please know that your fundraising efforts and incredible generosity will go to support other children and families fighting this horrific disease.
Joseph, we love you so so much, life will never be the same again. Sleep tight, our special boy 💚"

Joseph’s Story 

Joseph is kind, funny and incredibly loving. He absolutely loves the Hulk, Batman and all the superheroes, he also loves Blippi and has
 collected all of the Blippi toys! He adores animals and enjoys helping his Grandad feed the sheep. With his beautiful smile and infectious character, everyone falls in love with Joseph when they meet him.

After becoming unwell with a virus, Joseph was taken to his local hospital for tests and scans. He was then transferred to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff when his parents were given the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma.

Joseph has just turned three and has spent months in hospital undergoing aggressive and intense treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma, a rare aggressive childhood cancer that has a 40-50% chance of long-term survival at diagnosis.

Joseph’s family are fundraising for further treatment, either to get their son into remission or to try and keep the cancer away if his frontline treatment does go to plan. This could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.  

On Christmas Day 2020 Joseph woke up full of excitement and energy to see what Santa Claus had brought him. He was a healthy, energetic two-year-old boy with no sign of illness. However, not long after Christmas, he began to refuse his meals and shortly after he turned three in February, his energy levels dropped. His family thought it may have been a habit picked up during lockdown. He had lost a little bit of weight, but it coincided with a growth spurt, so it was easy to put it down to that.

Just before Easter Joseph became unwell with a virus and looked so unwell. He was grey, with black rings under his eyes, he could barely stand, and was crying in pain.

"Aside from the loss of appetite and low energy levels, it felt like it just came out of nowhere," says mum, Katy.

Joseph was taken to his local hospital and doctors found that his platelets were very low and following weeks of tests and scans, he was transferred to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff. A bone marrow biopsy and multiple scans revealed that he had cancer that had spread to the adrenal glands, stomach, lymphatic system, brain and bone marrow. Joseph was officially diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma in April 2021, at just three years old.

“Finding out Joseph’s diagnosis was the hardest moment of our lives. Hearing that your child has an aggressive cancer with a poor survival rate, is a feeling that can’t be described and a feeling that I wish no other family must endure. I have sat and stared at this screen for hours trying to think of the words to describe that pain and gut-wrenching feeling, but nothing will ever come close.  We couldn’t understand how this was happening to Joseph,” says Katy.

Treatment

Joseph is currently undergoing Rapid COJEC chemotherapy and will then have surgery, high-dose chemotherapy with stem-cell rescue, radiotherapy and immunotherapy to complete his frontline treatment. As well as enduring the gruelling and toxic treatment, Joseph also has regular CT scans, ultrasounds, MIBG radioactive scans, MRI scans, anaesthetic, injections, transfusions, oxygen, feeding tubes and bone marrow biopsies.

“Watching Joseph go through this treatment is heartbreaking and I can’t imagine how our poor little boy is feeling. Joseph is a tough and resilient little boy, but the fear in his eyes when someone walks into his hospital room is unbearable. He begs us not to do another injection ‘please put it through my wiggly’ he says as he holds up his Hickman line. How do you explain to a 3-year-old that this injection is going to save his life? How do you go about explaining that ‘we are doing this because we love you’, when we are holding him down so that he doesn’t get hurt? How will we ever forget his screams and tears?" says Katy.


During Joseph’s treatment, only one parent has been allowed to stay with him at the hospital because of covid restrictions which has been a further strain on the family. Joseph’s six-year-old brother Liam doesn’t quite understand this rule, and not being able to see his brother has had a big impact on him.

"He regularly asks when we can be a family again and why can’t Joseph come home", says Katy.

Despite everything that Joseph is going through, he remains a cheerful and smiley little boy. He misses his family but is making the most of facetime and keeps himself entertained with the different backgrounds and animations. He enjoys seeing his brother as a tomato, his Nannie as a bunny rabbit, Grandad as a sheep and his Nanna as a talking corn on the cob.

Fundraising campaign 

Joseph will complete his frontline treatment in June 2022 and his end of treatment scans will confirm whether he is in remission. Joseph’s family are actively fundraising in order to raise funds for further treatment, either to get their son into remission or to try and keep the cancer away if treatment does go to plan. This could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

 

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