Birthday boy Charlie Hook faces testing time
TWO years ago today, Charlie Hook was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
His fifth birthday should have been a time of celebration but, instead, his family were given the devastating news he had neuroblastoma.
Today, Charlie turns seven and will celebrate with a party with his school friends – complete with Spider-Man party bags and a Ben 10 cake.
Although it is an exciting day in the west Hull youngster's life, his mum Nicola will once again be hanging on the phone, waiting for test results.
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"He was diagnosed on his birthday and I can't believe we are getting test results on the same day again," said Nicola, 33.
"If I had realised, I probably would have put it off or tried to change the day we were getting results.
"I know it is better to know than delay things but I just don't want any more connections of tests with his birthday."
Nicola's nerves have been stretched to the limit over the Christmas holidays when she feared Charlie had relapsed.
Doctors have said although treatment for his condition has been successful, there is an 80 per cent chance of relapse.
Over the festive season, all the children, including Charlie's siblings Molly, five, and Archie, 21 months, suffered from coughs, colds and stomach bugs. In January, Charlie had very few symptoms, but had turned very pale.
Nicola said: "His energy and appetite were up and down but it was more the way he looked.
"Although he was still playing, laughing and being his usual cheeky self, there was something wrong. He looked really white, really pale – he looked just like he did before."
Nicola made the decision to take Charlie to Leeds General Infirmary, where they spoke to his oncologist.
The specialist performed some tests, the results of which Nicola was expecting today.
She said: "He took a urine sample and that is the results we'll get on his birthday.
"At the time, the oncologist said they weren't that concerned and his symptoms do seem to have improved.
"He isn't back to 100 per cent but he is a lot better than when I decided to take him to hospital.
"Usually, a child who relapses obviously gets worse and usually can't go to school.
"I feel reassured, but I am still extremely anxious."
Just before Christmas, the Charlie Hook Appeal, which was set up to pay for life- saving treatment should he relapse, hit the halfway mark.
The treatment would cost £300,000 if it was ever needed and the appeal has so far raised £154,000.
A fundraising bag-pack will be held to raise money for the appeal from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, January 26, at Asda in Hessle Road. For more information, search "Charlie Hook Appeal" on Facebook.