A HEARTBROKEN family today paid tribute to a child of courage, their “little angel.”
Charlie Stansfield had spent much of his short life battling an aggressive cancer, but sadly lost his fight on Sunday.
The six-year-old had been in remission from a form of childhood cancer, called neuroblastoma, but became ill again in May this year and was given just months to live.
When he was only one, his mum Julie and dad Andrew, of Blackpool Old Road, Highfurlong, took him to A&E when they found a lump behind his ear.
Scans showed a solid tumour in his adrenal glands.
The brave youngster had to undergo surgery – including a stem cell transplant – and high-dose chemotherapy at Pendlebury Children’s Hospital.
And after many months of treatment, his family was delighted to be given the news he was in remission.
But in May, his parents were given the devastating news his illness had returned.
Mum Julie said: “He was a real little fighter.
“The news did come as a big shock, but I think in some way, as a mum, I had a feeling. He had been doing so well before.
“When we came back from the hospital, he just said he didn’t want to spend any more time in hospitals.
“So we cared for him at home and he died at home.
“Brian House Hospice were absolutely brilliant.
“The care they gave Charlie and the support they gave the whole family was just fantastic. They were wonderful.”
She said it was a difficult time for the whole family, especially for Charlie’s older brothers Harvey, 12 and Hugo, nine, who Charlie adored.
Julie said the family did have some lovely memories of the Poulton St Chad’s School pupil – especially of a holiday to Disneyland and stay at Centre Parcs provided by the charity Make a Wish Foundation.
Charlie took a starring role in his nursery nativity play for Christmas 2008 and earlier that year he had run the first few steps with mum Julie as she took part in the Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Julie said: “He was very brave, and all through having to take all his medication, he never moaned.
“”He was just cheeky, and funny and always so caring towards other people – especially his brothers.
“We really want to thank Brian House and Manchester Children’s Hospital, as well as all our friends and family, who have been wonderful.”
Charlie’s funeral was taking place today at St Chad’s Church, Poulton.