Nine-year-old boy with cancer will spend Christmas in hospital

Melanie and Harry Addy when he was first poorly. He will spend six weeks in hospital. Picture: UK Pr

Melanie and Harry Addy when he was first poorly. He will spend six weeks in hospital. Picture: UK Proton Therapy - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk boy with cancer and his family will be spending Christmas hundreds of miles from home as he starts pioneering proton therapy.

Harry Addy, nine, from Rivermead, Stalham, and family are in Manchester while he awaits treatment at the Christie hospital.

The brave youngster will spend six weeks in hospital while he undergoes treatment during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

His mother Melanie Wymer said: "Harry starts treatment on December 30. It's the longest treatment they do so he will need a daily general anaesthetic as he won't be able to keep still for two hours.

"The first week in Manchester was very difficult for us both. Harry is very nervous and scared. But the staff at the hospital are lovely."

Meanwhile, they have received more than 300 cards and packages following an emotional appeal she made.

She asked for cards to be sent to them, ahead of their trip, which Harry can then open while he's away. Harry loves opening cards and gifts so his mother asked well-wishers to send him a little card, note or gift to take with them.

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She said: "This is amazing. Harry has no idea, so it's going to be brilliant to see his reaction when he sees them all. Thank you so much."

She said it would be hard being away from home over Christmas.

She added: "Six weeks of daily hospital visits and daily treatment and Harry won't be allowed home in these six weeks.

"It's going to be another tough few weeks for Harry. He's still struggling physically and emotionally after four years of surgeries and different chemotherapies. He's just finished an 18 month-long stint of weekly chemotherapy."

Harry has a cancerous 'pilocytic astrocytoma' spinal cord tumour, which he's been battling since December 2015.

He also has leptomeningeal disease in his brain - a rare complication of his cancer in which the disease spreads to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Proton therapy is a type of radiotherapy said to pinpoint tumours with better accuracy while reducing collateral damage to other organs.