COURAGEOUS schoolboy Thomas Russell is living life to the full after his battle with cancer – and now he’s helping other children fight the disease.
The six-year-old was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at just 11 weeks old.
The youngster, of Aylesford Mews, Tunstall, endured extensive surgery and chemotherapy as doctors fought to rid his body of the illness.
The cancer started in a gland just above Thomas’s left kidney and spread through his liver, lymph glands and bone marrow.
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At one stage chances were slim that Thomas would live, but the plucky lad survived.
He has been in remission for five years and is now leading a normal life at home with mum Joanne, part-time lorry driver dad Dave, 46, and big brother Harry, eight.
Thomas and his family are now backing Cancer Research UK’s Give Up Clothes For Good campaign.
The charity wants people to take any unwanted clothes and other goods to TK Maxx stores to help raise cash to help the fight against childhood cancers.
Joanne, 42, said today: “At the moment, Thomas is doing very well.
“The only problem he has got is he has a disorder in one of his lungs, which is still damaged.
“As he grows, the damaged part of his lung will become a lot smaller.
“He’s also prone to getting quite a few chest infections but generally he’s coming along great.”
St Mary’s Primary School pupil Thomas is now enjoying time with friends, either playing football or on his X-box 360.
His family, however, are still wary of the cancer returning.
“We have regular check-ups with his consultants to make sure things are OK,” added Joanne, who works as an operations manager at a call centre.
“The longer time goes on, the less likely the neuroblastoma will come back.”
The Give Up Clothes For Good campaign aims aims to raise £2.5million towards research into childhood cancers this year.
“We will definitely be having a good clear out and hope others will be inspired to do the same,” said Joanne.
“In doing so, we can all help TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK ensure that more children, like Thomas, beat cancer in the future.”
The campaign runs until the end of this month.
For more information, go to www.tkmaxx.com.