Four-year-old Northampton boy diagnosed with rare stage four cancer just weeks after starting school

The community has rallied around Teddy and his family in a bid to provide him with something to look forward to

By Carly Odell
Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 7:00 am

A young Northamptonshire boy was diagnosed with a type of cancer that is rare in children just weeks after he began school for the first time.

Teddy Hughes-Collins, from Bugbrooke, who started school in September last year, began to lose a lot of weight and would intermittently throw up during the night shortly after joining the reception class.

Doctors thought it was a virus, but when Teddy’s teacher said something was not right with his eye, Emily - the four-year-old’s mum - rang 111 and was told to get him to A&E as soon as possible.

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Teddy with his older sister Hetty.

The family was told there was probably a tumour, however CT and MRI scans came back clear and Teddy was sent home.

But the eye problem only got worse so Teddy was taken back to hospital for more scans, when a mass was detected and he was eventually diagnosed with lymphoma.

Emily said: “A sample of the mass came back and confirmed Teddy has cancer, but they weren’t sure what type.

“They did further tests and while we waited for results Teddy started chemo.

The four-year-old has spent most of the last six months in hospital.

“I was under the impression that this would all be over by Christmas, but the tests confirmed Teddy has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is really rare in children.

“He was stage four, or high grade as they say in children, and he had to have the highest form of chemo you can get.”

Teddy has spent much of the last six months at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham receiving treatment.

As the chemo dosage is high the side effects are bad, so the youngster has not been well enough to return home for more than a couple of days at a time.

Teddy loves motorbikes and it is hoped the fundraiser money will go towards him enjoying his passion, one way or another.

Now, Teddy is officially in remission and only has one more cycle of chemo to complete.

Emily added: “I don’t think he really knows what is going on.

“It’s not very nice for anyone to go through, but children seem to cope with it more than adults.

“We’re focussing on getting him better at the moment. When it’s all over I think we’ll have the emotional side of it to deal with and I think he will have to start school over because he has missed so much of the year.

“Teddy has actually been home for a week this time, which is the longest he has been home for a while. It’s fantastic.

“He has one more chemo at the end of April as they keep treating to make sure it hopefully doesn’t come back.

“It’s horrible when children get cancer, but Teddy is winning and we are looking at it as a positive.”

The family initially were not keen when one of the mums from Teddy’s school first mentioned setting up an online fundraiser, but when she mentioned using it to raise money for something Teddy could look forward to, the family was persuaded.

“The emotional support we have received from our community, school and the NHS has been absolutely amazing, we couldn't have done it without them,” Emily continued.

“When Michelle set up the page we were so touched and never expected the response it has received.

“We feel so blessed by everyone’s support and Teddy is such a lucky little boy.

“He loves motorbikes, so we’d like to get him to some shows when restrictions are lifted. It would make his day, so hopefully we can do that with the money that has been raised.”

The online fundraiser has nearly hit £2,500, with support from the Bugbrooke community.