BBC News

Suffolk boy with rare cancer ready for first day at school

image copyrightCancer Research UK/Mark Hewlett
image captionAlec Carpenter with his parents Nicola and Glen

A boy who doctors feared would not survive when he was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer aged four months is due to start school.

Alec Carpenter, from Stowmarket in Suffolk, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2016 and will join his reception class on 28 September.

Doctors feared he would not survive more than two weeks after being diagnosed.

He has since 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, said they were proud of their son.

image copyrightCancer Research UK
image captionAlec Carpenter had four operations to treat a rare childhood cancer

"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."

image copyrightCancer Research UK
image captionAlec Carpenter was diagnosed aged four months

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.

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

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

Related Topics

  • Stowmarket
  • Childhood cancer

More on this story

  • Essex father tells of seven-year-old son's cancer fight