'Warrior' Liam Hills, 9, who touched hearts of many loses cancer battle
A nine-year-old boy hailed a ‘warrior’ and who touched the hearts of many as he battled cancer has died.
Liam Hills was diagnosed with cancer of the liver aged seven, but following several treatments, died on September 2 during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
With his funeral on September 23, The Pykkerell Inn, in Ixworth, has raised £5,000 to help give him a massive send off.
His mum Sarah, 34, said: “He was a cheeky chap who could endear himself to anyone and melted anyone’s heart – he really did.
“He had a way of caring about people with a cheeky, naughty, mischievous side but he got away with it with his blue eyes and smile.
“He has left a massive hole.”
Sarah said: “He just seemed lethargic. I remember taking him for a shopping trip around Bury St Edmunds and he had to keep sitting down. He was always so full of life and running everywhere – it wasn’t right.”
Tests later confirmed cancer of the liver and he went on a course of chemotherapy straight away.
After being told there was nothing more that could be done, his family spoke to Great Ormond Street Hospital who referred them to King’s College Hospital, which conducted a liver transplant in February 2018.
“He came out of it bounding,” Sarah said. “He wanted to be out for his birthday which was February 18 – he had a way of getting what he wanted.”
However, in June last year doctors discovered the cancer had spread to his lungs and he was placed on more chemotherapy.
The treatment wasn’t working and Liam was placed on palliative care.
“He was still full of it,” Sarah said. “He was swimming, bows and arrows in the back garden, he could go to school when he could.
“He was just a warrior and battled through. It was unbelievable. I think we got told eight times he was going to die.”
There will be a funeral procession through Brandon at about 1pm to the market square where 100 balloons will be released.
A fire engine and tractor will form part of the procession and his family have further plans.
They are also looking to fund-raise to revamp a park at the Remembrance Playing Fields, near Brandon sports centre, with new play equipment in his memory.
Sarah said funeral director Mark Skinner had offered to pay for the funeral.
“A massive thank you to everyone who has helped,” she said. “I’m so pleased that Liam touched so many hearts. He does deserve a massive send off. Even amongst all that is going on, he deserves the best.”
Liam, who was a pupil at Forest Academy, in Brandon, leaves a sister Chloe, 11.