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Meet Harry from Elmswell: The toddler fighting one of the rarest forms of cancer in the world




A brave two-year-old is proving himself a hero as he battles one of the rarest forms of cancer in the world.

Harry Crick, from Elmswell, Suffolk, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, last December.

There have only been around 300 cases of this rare form of embryonal tumour worldwide.

Harry's last scan came back all clear last week. Pictures courtesy of Nelly Willers.
Harry's last scan came back all clear last week. Pictures courtesy of Nelly Willers.

Already the brave toddler has battled his way through an operation to remove the tumour, followed by four rounds of chemotherapy.

And he is proving an inspiration to all around him.

“He really is our little hero; we are so proud of him” said mum, Nelly, 30.

Dad, Matt, brothers James, five, Oliver, 10, Finley, eight, mum, Nelly, and Harry, two.
Dad, Matt, brothers James, five, Oliver, 10, Finley, eight, mum, Nelly, and Harry, two.

“He has been very sick, and weak. He has lost all his lovely hair and has had to be fed through a tube. But he is the strongest little boy I know.

His scan came back clear last week. He just bounces back from everything thrown at him, and does it all with a smile.

Harry was diagnosed with the tumour, called ETMR, in December, after falling ill a few weeks earlier.

It is an aggressive form of cancer which affects young children. Most survive around 12 months.

“The cancer is extremely rare, there is still little known about it, and often the early signs are not typical,” said Nelly, a pre-school assistant.

“He began to feel unwell in November, with a cold, and was unsteady on his feet.

"At first, the GP thought he may have an ear infection, and then later tonsillitis.

Soon after, Harry started throwing his head back and was crying in pain.”

Doctors at West Suffolk Hospital discovered a tumour the ‘size of a tennis ball’. It was was removed at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve.

Harry, who has three older brothers, has spent much of this year on the childrens’ cancer ward at the hospital – but was allowed home this week.

He will soon going back for further intensive treatment and mum, Nelly, and dad Matt, 32, a yard man, are keeping their fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, 18 staff at Little Elms pre-school, where Nelly works, have launched a fund-raising drive for Addenbrooke’s, inspired by Harry.

Staff at Little Elms pre-school have been walking to raise money for Addenbrooke's Hospital. Picture by Mark Westley
Staff at Little Elms pre-school have been walking to raise money for Addenbrooke's Hospital. Picture by Mark Westley

They have been walking, cycling and running up to six kilometres a day during April for the cause.

In total they will cover 8319km to raise money for the Addenbrooke's ward, C2.

The numbers make up Harry's birthday.

Melanie Garner, manager at the pre-school, said: “We were all shocked when Nelly told us last December.

We are like one big family at the pre-school and Harry was due to start here this March, when he turned two.

"We wanted to do anything we could to help.”

School leaders Melissa Baker and Sue Turp organised the fund-raiser, which they called ‘Move’.

The team has so far raised £1,402 for Addenbrooke’s childrens’ cancer ward, against their target of £250.

At Addenbrooke's, Harry like to wear a white coat and staff call him 'Dr Harry'.
At Addenbrooke's, Harry like to wear a white coat and staff call him 'Dr Harry'.

“We were all very upset as Nelly is a great member of the team and it was just devastating,” she said.

“Staff, whose ages range from their 20s to 50s, have all played their part and thanks to everyone for their donations, so far.”

The fund, which is still open, can be found at www.justgiving.com

Harry also has a Facebook page called Our Harry, Our Hero.

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