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Lenny's Story

Lenny's family visited Ben's Retreat in May 2023.

In December 22 Lenny started to feel unwell. He had recently started nursery so we put it down to the usual nursery bugs. But then he started having trouble with his breathing and we were back and forth to A&E in Harrogate a number of times. He was initially diagnosed with pneumonia and a viral wheeze and discharged but Lenny then started complaining of tummy pains. We returned to A&E and the Doctors initially thought Lenny had appendicitis. He went for an ultrasound and it was at this point that I started to get a bad feeling that something wasn’t right. The sonographer told me the appendix were fine and she had also scanned the kidneys….but she didn’t tell me the kidneys were fine. After an agonising wait the Doctor finally arrived on the ward with a nurse and play therapist to sit with Lenny whilst she took me into a side room. I knew it must be bad if they wanted to speak to me alone. The Doctor told me that they had found a tumour on Lenny’s kidney which they believed was cancer. They could not give me anymore information but said Lenny would now be transferred to Leeds General Infirmary for an MRI scan. My husband was at home looking after Lenny’s younger brother so I then had to ring him and break the news over the phone.

On 22 December Lenny was diagnosed with a wilms tumour. He immediately had a port fitted and started chemotherapy. On 23 December we were discharged so we were able to spend Christmas at home as a family.

Lenny had 5 weeks of chemo before surgery to remove his left kidney and the tumour. He is now in the middle of a further 27 weeks of chemo. The cumulative effect of the chemo has been gruelling, weight loss, hair loss, vomiting and mouth ulcers. Yet he is still Lenny with his bright and energetic personality. Always tormenting his younger brother and getting up to mischief.

We cannot thank the Ben Saunders Foundation enough for this holiday. It is Lenny’s 3rd birthday when we go and we cannot wait to spend the week celebrating, having fun and making memories as a family. This holiday has really been a positive focus for us, something to look forward to and distract ourselves with when the days have felt really tough. Thank you xxx

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