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Boy diagnosed with rare cancer prepares for first day at school

Alec Carpenter, aged four and from Stowmarket in Suffolk, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2016.

A little boy who doctors feared would not survive for another two weeks when he was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer aged four months old is preparing for his first day at school.

Alec Carpenter, aged four and from Stowmarket in Suffolk, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2016.

His parents said doctors feared he would not survive for another two weeks and started his treatment straight away.

Alec Carpenter
Doctors feared Alec would not survive (Cancer Research UK)

He has had four operations and has been in remission for three years.

His mother Nicola, 41, said she cries when she sees what Alec has achieved, and she is now fundraising for Cancer Research UK.

She and husband Glen Carpenter, 44, who both work as tailors, will take Alec to school for his first full day on September 28 when the reception intake starts.

Nicola and Glen Carpenter with Alec
Nicola and Glen Carpenter with Alec (Cancer Research UK)

“Alec has been at a fantastic pre-school and his last reports were excellent, exceeding all expectations, which made me cry when I read it,” said Mrs Carpenter.

“We know how hard he has worked to get to where he is now.

“He hasn’t got the energy of the other children and he hasn’t got the same stamina but he tries his best and we are so proud of what he has achieved.

“He is looking forward to big school and we are so excited for him, it’s going to be quite an emotional day for all of us.”

Alec Carpenter
Alec is excited about going to school (Cancer Research UK)

She said that finding a school for Alec had been difficult because of his extra care needs but it was important that he lived as normal a life as possible, which included mainstream schooling.

Alec will be monitored by doctors until he is 18 years old.

He has had tumours in his chest, liver, stomach, spine, skin, bones and lungs.

Cancer surgery has also left him with Horner Syndrome, which is a rare disorder which means he cannot control his body temperature on one side, has weakness in one arm and one hand and a droopy eye.

“We have constant relapse fears where we have had to cancel holidays and things waiting for results but the latest MRI scan he had is the first one we have had where there is no change and nothing the doctors need to monitor which is fantastic news,” said Mrs Carpenter.

Cancer Research UK is asking that people donate unwanted clothes to a TK Maxx store as part of its Give Up Clothes For Good initiative.

For details, see www.tkmaxx.com/uk/en/give-up-clothes-for-good

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