Party in park to support young Joel

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A teenager from Rugby is fighting an aggressive form of leukaemia and will have to stay in hospital until Christmas.

Bilton High School student Joel Hammond is about to undergo his second round of chemotherapy at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

His mother, Lisa Smith, didn’t know what was wrong with her son when he started getting headaches, abdominal pains, gum swelling and bruising.

Joel, 15, also had trouble eating and was ill for several weeks before diagnosis last month.

Now his aunt is organising an event in Caldecott Park to raise funds and awareness of the disease.

She said: “Joel has been really poorly and had to start chemotherapy 12 hours after diagnosis.

“Before he was diagnosed he was so ill. His skin was porcelain white.”

Hayley is holding a Party in the Park event on September 14 from noon to 5pm in Rugby in honour of her nephew.

“It will be an afternoon full of fun for the whole family, with games, rides, music and a big raffle and some guest speakers,” she said.

“I am holding the event in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust and to raise awareness of cancer in children and teenagers.”

She said Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for young people with cancer aged between 13 and 24.

“The party in the park is also about letting people know the symptoms and to act on them,” added Hayley.

She said Joel won’t leave hospital until Christmas but has received a lot of support from the children’s unit and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

“It has been a very tough time, but the hospital and the TCT have been absolutely brilliant,” said Hayley.

If you would like to help or need more information telephone 07976 905415.