When a Melton schoolboy complained of having a stitch in his side on a family holiday he and his parents and siblings had no idea it was actually symptoms of a rare form of cancer.
Charlie Hull, who is 15 and is a pupil at Long Field Academy, got the devastating diagnosis in October when he had his health checked out on their return home and he is now having treatment for the disease which is affecting his bones.
More than £1,000 has already been raised from an online fundraising page set up by Charlie’s mum, Sam, and step-dad, Ben, to give him a boost when his treatment finishes and to help pay some of their expenses as they visit him in hospital regularly in Nottingham.
Town pub The Grapes is organising a tombola to generate more cash and local tradesmen from Leisurely Gardens renovated his bedroom, to make it germ-free so he can spend time at home at Christmas, spending nearly £500 on the work but not charging the family a penny.
Mum Sam, who also has three other children, recalled the moment the family got the news about her son’s illness: “After several trips to the doctors and blood tests and scans, Charlie has was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, which usually hits children and young adults between 10 and 20 years of age.
“As you can imagine, this has come as a complete shock to the entire family and we are hoping the fundraising page will help take some of the pressure off what is a very difficult time for Charlie and the family.”
She added: “At just 15, as you can imagine, Charlie has lots of friends and loves to socialise with them.
“Whilst he is undergoing extensive treatments and hospital stays, he is having to miss out on school trips, nights with his friends and his gadgets.
“This money is designed to help Charlie get out and about when he is feeling up to it, provide some additional funds towards his family’s stay and the rest will be donated to a charity of their choice after the treatment has finished.”
Brent Penniston and Stephen Thompson did the renovation on Charlie’s bedroom and left the family with an invoice for £0 with a message at the bottom saying ‘We hope Charlie makes a full recovery and your family have a happy Christmas’.
Sharon Brown, landlady at The Grapes pub in the town, is organising a tombola to raise more money for the family.
Strips of three tickets cost £1 and the prizes, which include a carpet underlay from East Goscote Carpets, will be drawn in the Market Place pub at 12 noon on Saturday. They are on sale at the pub and will be sold from a stall in the town centre in the morning before the draw.
Sam is grateful to The Grapes, the tradesmen and everyone who has contributed to the fundraising efforts and says the money is vitally needed because she struggles with her health and Ben doesn’t drive.
“It’s very challenging,” she added.
“Even if people cannot donate, a share of our fundraising page to their wider friends and family would be much appreciated by all involved.”
Go online at www.gofundme.com/f/charlie-hull to pledge money to help Charlie and his family and read his mum’s moving regularly updated blog.