The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
20°C | 13°C
23°C | 14°C
22°C | 14°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Canterbury News Article
A boy battling cancer for six years has devastated his supporters after telling them he has decided against having treatment which could help prolong his life.
Brave Reece Puddington, of Freemans Close, was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in April 2008, with doctors telling him there was no cure.
Last year he suffered a relapse and was told he had a liver tumour shortly after starting a trial drug, leaving him bedbound.
In January, he made a heart-breaking bucket list, which included wanting to meet actor Johnny Depp, a visit to Sun City in South Africa and a hobbit house in his back garden.
His wishes provoked a worldwide effort from well-wishers to realise his dreams, with most of the list ticked off through generous gifts and donations.
Staff from The Peter Cushing pub brought a full English breakfast to his bed and plans for a hobbit house have been drawn up by artists.
He also launched a new project, Reece’s Retreat, aiming to raise funds to buy a beach hut on West Beach to give seriously ill children a day by the sea.
But the 11-year-old delivered the desperately sad news that he has opted against taking a new drug to possibly prolong his life in order to start preparing for death.
Writing on his Facebook page he wrote: “As you know after the latest scan results I was sent home to rest and think over the two possible options.
“I could opt for another trial, but this would mean travelling a lot to the hospital and coping with the side effects, but could also hopefully extend my life, or I could simply do nothing, stay at home and let nature take its course which would lead to me lose my life slightly earlier than if I’d had more treatment.
“My mum had always hoped over the last five to six years that she would have the courage to know when enough was enough.
“After careful consideration, my mum thought that if she was doing it for herself she would keep sending me for treatment as she wouldn’t want to let me go, but if she was doing it for me she’d let me go.
“Well, she’s letting me go.....”
"I could opt for another trial, but this would mean travelling a lot to the hospital and coping with the side effects... or I could simply do nothing, stay at home and let nature take its course" - Reece Puddington
His decision sparked an outpouring of grief from well-wishers with more than 300 comments from followers tracking his battle against the disease.
Kristina Stoner wrote: “Such a brave boy , touched so many with your courage and strength. I hope your legacy lives on and gives others the strength you have. My thoughts Are with you and your family. Lots of love xxx.”
While Melanie Hill posted: “Reece you are so very brave. My thoughts are with you and your family. I wish you lots of strength to get through this final chapter and love to your family to stay strong.”
To see Reece's fundraising page click here.
Click here for more news from Canterbury.
Click here for more news from around the county.