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Reece Puddington an11year old boy refuses cancer treatment & opts to ‘let go’

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

No cure: Reece Puddington has been battling with neuroblastoma since 2008.

For most 11-year-old boys, Facebook is a way to chat with friends and share photographs – but for Reece Puddington, it was a place to express a more momentous message.

The boy, who has had cancer for more than half of his life, used a status update to announce he had decided to refuse potentially life-prolonging drugs in order to accept his fate and make the most of his final days, at home with his family.

The decision has been a breath of fresh air for Reece. Not to have to go to the hospital means a lot to him.

He told friends via the website that he could no longer face the demands of gruelling treatment and wished to let “nature take its course”.

puddington cancer boy wants to let go image www.newcures.com

He wrote: “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…”

Reece, from Seasalter, Kent was diagnosed in 2008 with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system which affects about 100 children a year in the UK. His updates on his condition on Facebook have attracted a growing following. In a posting last Thursday, The Beginning of the End, he wrote: “After the latest scan results I was sent home to rest and think over the 2 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 losing my life slightly earlier than if I’d had more treatment.”

puddington bucket list food image www.newcures.info

He said he was taking the second option.

His mother, Kay Puddington, who helps write his blog, said: “Reece has been so good, he never moans. He just got tired of the whole regime. So the rest of the family took on board how he felt and we made the decision to end his treatment.

“He would have gone on to new drugs, but the side effects are always sickness, fatigue and nausea.”

She added: “The decision has been a breath of fresh air for Reece. Not to have to go to the hospital means a lot to him.”

After his diagnosis in May 2008, Reece had chemotherapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital, in Sutton, Surrey. The cancer, which had started in a gland near his kidney, went into remission. However, he became ill again in 2012 and his family was told the condition was terminal. It had spread to his bone marrow, chest, the left side of his pelvis and his right thigh bone.

Reece had drawn up a “bucket list”, of things to do before he died. It includes seeing his mother learn to drive so they could take day trips. Mrs Puddington, 40, who is her son’s full-time carer, passed her test when she was 17 but could not afford a car. It meant she and Reece were housebound while her husband Paul, 48, was at work as a sales assistant for supermarket chain Sainsbury’s

Fatigued because of the ongoing treatments have taken their toll. image www.newcures.info

She has now learned to drive again. “We haven’t gone on any trips just yet, as Reece has had a rough few days. But we’re hoping to go on a drive along the coast,” she said.

Reece’s list includes a trip to Sun City, South Africa. Mrs Puddington added: “Unfortunately Reece won’t be able to manage the holiday. He has been so brave and I’m so proud of him.”

Reece added: “I’ve been overwhelmed by all the support. It’s really made a difference to me.”

The Telegraph, London

Henry Sapiecha