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I beat my deadly brain tumour - but now we must help others, says child cancer survivor

PUBLISHED: 16:26 22 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:26 22 July 2020

Charlie Williams from Sudbury has just celebrated his 21st birthday - pictured here with is Mum Bevelery and Dad Adrian. Picture: CANCER RESEARCH UK/CHARLIE WILLIAMS

Charlie Williams from Sudbury has just celebrated his 21st birthday - pictured here with is Mum Bevelery and Dad Adrian. Picture: CANCER RESEARCH UK/CHARLIE WILLIAMS

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Charlie Williams, from Sudbury, said the gruelling illness was “something I had to take on day by day” as he underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a seven-hour operation to save his life.

Charlie pictured here during his treatment after being daignosed with a rare brain cancer at 5-years-old. Picture: CANCER RESEARCH UK/CHARLIE WILLIAMSCharlie pictured here during his treatment after being daignosed with a rare brain cancer at 5-years-old. Picture: CANCER RESEARCH UK/CHARLIE WILLIAMS

Even though he said his family “didn’t know if I would make it, if I would survive cancer“, he amazingly pulled through despite being diagnosed with medulloblastoma - one of the rarest cancers, which affects just 55 children a year.

But having just reached the 21st birthday he and others thought he might never make, he is now encouraging people to donate to Cancer Research UK - amid fears the coronavirus crisis could hamper the charity’s efforts and mean children miss out on similar life-saving treatment.

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Charlie said: “Cancer is a horrible disease that effects people personally but also all the people around them in so many different ways, mentally, physically and emotionally.

“It’s only now that I’m older that I can understand how my cancer impacted so many different people. I remember, my radiotherapy, my chemotherapy, numerous operations, both MRI and CT scans but it was something I just got on with, that was the normality for me back then.

“I had radiotherapy twice a day for five weeks. We would come home for weekends and go back Monday morning, and that became my life. It’s something nobody should have to go through but unfortunately the world is not that way and it was part of my life.

“It was something I had to fight for because there was no escape route, no quick fix, or easier way out - it’s something I had to take on day by day.”

“Unfortunately I had a different start in life but thanks to the amazing research and improvements in cancer treatment I came through and was eventually given the all-clear. It upsets me to think about research being held up and what this might mean for people affected by cancer in the months and years to come.

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“By boosting funding now, we can all help to lessen the future impact on patients, So, I hope that people across Suffolk will be moved by the charity’s determination to carry on beating cancer and give what they can.

“I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through what I went through, so please help by supporting Cancer Research UK so their life-saving work can continue - every penny counts in the fight against this dreadful disease.”

Patrick Keely, Cancer Research UK’s spokesman for Suffolk, said: “We’re so grateful to Charlie for helping to underline the stark reality of the current situation. We will never stop striving to create better treatments.

“But we can’t do it alone. Whether they donate or sign up to Race for Life - with the help of people in Suffolk, we believe that together we will still beat cancer.”

For more information on Race for Life at Home, click here.

To donate, click here.

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