A few weeks after enjoying Christmas, Joseph Lillywhite began to feel unwell. Several visits had been made to the GP where Joseph was thought to be suffering from a virus. No longer interested in playing with his new Christmas presents, Joseph’s condition worsened and concerned parents Helen and Mark took their five-year-old son to casualty.

Tests revealed that Joseph had high-risk neuroblastoma – a very aggressive childhood cancer. A tumour had grown around his kidney with evidence of cancer in his bone marrow, hips and thighs.

“Words cannot describe the complete and utter devastation of finding out that our precious child had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma,” says Helen.

Like more than half of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma, the cancer had spread throughout Joseph’s body by the time it was discovered meaning that Joseph had the high-risk form of the disease. This is significantly more difficult to treat.

“Joseph is a very brave little boy who has dealt with far too much pain and suffering in his early years,” says his mother, Helen. “He has fought with grit and determination and we are very proud of him.”

Joseph was initially diagnosed in January 2013 but is now doing very well. The last set of restaging scans show that he is NED which means that currently, Joseph has no evidence of disease.

Helen and Mark are over the moon to be in this position but are cautious as there is still a chance neuroblastoma can come back.

Joseph’s parents launched a fundraising Journey for Solving Kids’ Cancer for any possible future treatment to help him or children like him.

How you can help

Parents Mark and Helen are fundraising for Solving Kids' Cancer to potentially help Joseph and other children with this disease.

Helen writes: “The charity supports families and we are assured that if we need their help at any stage or in the future they will fully support us.” Joseph’s parents thank you so much in advance for your kind donation.

Please help us to help Joseph, and children like him, by making a donation to Solving Kids' Cancer. Every donation made for Solving Kids' Cancer, no matter how small, will make a difference.

If you can help by holding or organising a fundraising event to raise money please contact the fundraising team at SKC on 020 7284 0800.

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