BETTER NOW: Shane Nodding, right, with his dad Eric and siblings Abbie and Ben
BETTER NOW: Shane Nodding, right, with his dad Eric and siblings Abbie and Ben

A COCKFIELD family are planning a major fundraising campaign for the hospital unit that saved their son’s life.

Little Shane Nodding was only three when he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2015 and later underwent treatment at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), in Newcastle. The seven-year-old was given the all clear in December last year.

His family first realised something was wrong with Shane on Father’s Day in 2015 when he went on a ride while visiting a show in Yorkshire.

His mum, Claire, said: “He turned as white as a sheet and was really sick.”

In the following months he suffered from a loss of appetite, nose bleeds, inexplicable bruising and swollen glands, but it wasn’t until September that year that he was diagnosed and immediately rushed to the RVI. During the first six months he underwent intensive chemo-therapy.

Mrs Nodding said: “We spent more time in Newcastle than we did at home. The time was varied, sometimes we were up there for two weeks, sometimes we were up for a week. [The medical staff] were fantastic – they are worth their weight in gold, every single one of them.”

Shane’s Dad, Eric, said the youngster’s love for Lego had helped him through the therapy, and he took along his Lego characters every time he went up to Newcastle.

Even his stints at home proved difficult, with the family routine disrupted because Shane could not eat before or after receiving his daily medication, and would have to wait while his siblings Abbie and Ben were fed.

Mr Nodding said: “That was really hard on him. He has had a tough time.”

Later he was put on steroids which increased his appetite.

Mr Nodding said: “He had us up every two hours wanting to eat. We would just get him settled and he was back up again hungry. The weight he put on was unbelievable.”

Shane’s mum paid tribute to how well he handled himself throughout the three years of treatment.

She said: “Everything they have done to him, he has just took it. He took it better than what we have.”

Shane was declared clear of cancer on December 13 and the whole family was on hand to see him ring the RVI’s bell three times to mark the occasion.

Mrs Nodding paid tribute to the people of Cockfield, particularly the village primary school, for the support they received over the past three years. Mr Nodding added: “People in the area have been wonderful. The amount of people who have said ‘don’t be stuck if you need anything’.”

Businesses in and around Cockfield are now helping the family raise cash for the RVI’s Children's Cancer Fund by hosting raffles and other fundraising activities, while the family is holding a coffee morning at Cockfield Methodist Church on Saturday, September 14, from 10am to noon.

Along with cakes baked by people in the community, people can enjoy browsing through a variety of stalls.

Mr Nodding said: “We have more cakes than Greggs.”