Five-year-old Reid was playing in the park in August 2023 when he first felt a pain that led to his diagnosis. He had rolled down a bank and hurt his stomach so badly, he was in tears. The next day, he was in much more pain and his parents, Alison and Mark, rang the surgery. The GP told them to take little Reid to hospital in case he needed a scan. Following a series of tests, it was revealed that Reid had Wilms tumour, a form of cancer that affects the kidneys.
It was devastating news, made worse by the knowledge that Reid’s cancer was on both kidneys. Had Reid not rolled down the bank and damaged the tumours causing them to bleed, the hospital might not have discovered the cancer till much later, as it’s asymptomatic.
Before cancer Reid was an active little boy
Reid is a comical little boy who makes his family and friends laugh. He’s also active, and loves nothing better than riding his bike, climbing trees and playing with the family’s four dachshunds. He’s a big fan of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), which he enjoys watching on television. Reid has three siblings – Thalia (27), Rio (13) and Esmee (9).
Since his diagnosis, life has changed beyond recognition. At first, Reid battled high temperatures caused by an infection from the internal bleeding. Then he went through six weeks of chemotherapy, to shrink the tumours, so that he could undergo an operation to remove what’s left of them, and retain some kidney function.
Being in hospital so much has been hugely upsetting for this little boy, who becomes scared every time the nurses approach him as he suspects a dose of medicine is sure to follow.
Cosy socks from the Kid’s Cancer Kit help Reid’s cold feet
The chemo left Reid tired, sick and distressed. So when he received his Kids’ Cancer Kit, it put a huge smile on his face. He loves the warmable bunny, but adores the yellow Minion socks, which he wears all the time because he gets very cold feet, having lost a lot of weight due to the chemotherapy.
Reid has now had his left kidney removed and the good news is that they were able to save 95% of his right kidney, which is a better outcome than Alison had expected. He is currently now undergoing a further 27 weeks of chemotherapy.
Alison urges any parent in her position to remain positive and to be aware that there’s lots of support out there.
Cancer Support UK developed its Kid’s Kit specifically for children to use in hospital while being treated for cancer. The Kid’s Kit is sent free of charge and contains toys, socks, a warmable ted and other items to help support the child while they are in hospital. We know from parental/child feedback that our Kid’s Kit gives children a huge emotional boost at a time when they need it most.
Cancer Support UK receives no public funding and rely entirely on public donations for its work. This is why we are asking as many people as possible to help children with cancer, like Reid, by getting behind our Christmas Fill a Kit campaign. We want to ensure that every child facing cancer in hospital this Christmas receives a Kid’s Kit. People can donate to the campaign by visiting the Fill a Kit page.