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Newmarket charity butterfly auction aims to give cash boost to cancer charity in the name of brave little boy who has a rare form of the disease





Colourful butterflies, which have brightened the streets of Newmarket throughout the summer, are being auctioned to help raise money for cancer research in the name of a little boy who has a rare form of the disease.

George Ratcliffe was a happy and active three year old until May last year when a lump suddenly appeared on his right temple which was diagnosed as rhabdomyo-sarcoma (RMS) which forms in soft tissue, often in the head and neck and usually in children.

George and his parents, Lisa and David, who live in Isleham, quickly became accustomed to hospital life as he underwent nine rounds of chemotherapy, aggressive surgery and six weeks of daily radiotherapy.

Love Newmarket BID manager Natalie Robinson with David Hall and Josh Schumann of the Newmarket Charitable Foundation with some of the butterflies being auctioned for charity
Love Newmarket BID manager Natalie Robinson with David Hall and Josh Schumann of the Newmarket Charitable Foundation with some of the butterflies being auctioned for charity

He was then moved on to maintenance therapy which came to a sudden halt in May 2023 when it was discovered the disease had returned.

“Relapse treatment began despite the knowledge that the success rate was only in single figures,” said Lisa “But by July the tumour had grown by a quarter and the treatment then ended.

“Hospital appointments were reduced to almost none and now we have been gently passed to the East Anglian Children’s Hospice at Milton for ongoing care.

George Radcliffe with his parents Lisa and David
George Radcliffe with his parents Lisa and David

“George has smiled and danced his way through his treatment, bouncing back from the challenges, demonstrating incredible strength which resonates with all who meet him. He builds relationships with medical and care staff, remembering their names and offering smiles and good conversation.

“It is fair to say he is very loved,” said Lisa.

Last month he started at Isleham Primary School where, said his mother, he strolled in on his first day, ready to learn.

A Just George page has been set up on the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) site at specialnamedfunds.cclg.org.uk/ just-george where donations can be made and half the proceeds of the on-line butterfly auction, organised by the Love Newmarket BID, will be added. The other half will go to the Newmarket Charitable Foundation which helps fund many local good causes.

Bids, starting at £20, for the one of metal butterflies can be made at hello@newmarketbid.com until midnight on Sunday. The highest 16 bidders will each get a butterfly.

“As parents who have had their hopes and dreams for their incredible little boy shattered, we hope to raise funds specifically for research into RMS. If this fund can go any way towards helping other families battling this horrendous disease then George’s incredible fight would have been for something,” said Lisa.

“We want to thank Love Newmarket for working with us. George loves butterflies and moths so this couldn’t have been a better way to raise money in his name.”