Cancer: Camelon nursery celebrates superhero, 5, who beat rare cancer

The grateful parents of a little boy diagnosed with a rare form of cancer have thanked the NHS for all the treatment and care their son received.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 17th June 2022, 8:15 am

They also praised the staff at a Camelon nursery saying their support throughout the last 18 months had been invaluable.

Now five-year-old Harry Frank is getting ready to start primary school in August, a day mums Stephanie and Elaine Frank feared they might never see.

But they say the battling youngster has overcome all the odds and several setbacks to complete his treatment.

Harry Frank, 5, with mums Stephanie, right, and Elaine Frank. Pic: Michael Gillen

Elaine, 43, said they were shocked when Harry was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) on February 1 last year.

LCH is a rare disorder that can damage tissue or cause lesions to form in the body.

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In pictures: Primary 7 classes of 2021 from Falkirk district schools.

She said: “In August 2020 we spotted a lump on his head and took him to the GP who in turn referred him to Forth Valley Royal Hospital for an ultrasound.

Smiles from Harry Frank, five, who has just completed cancer treatment

"They thought it was a dermoid cyst but a few months later when Harry was in FVRH to have his tonsils removed the surgeon said it needed further investigation.

"He had an MRI scan in Glasgow and that’s when we heard he had this rare form of cancer. By this time there was no visible sign of the lump as it was now growing through his skull bone.

"Harry had to go into the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow for surgery.

"He then underwent about 30 sessions of chemotherapy.

Carmuirs Early Learning and primary pupils turn out to congratulate Harry Frank on completing his cancer treatment. Pic: Contributed

"A couple of times he caught infections and had to go back into hospital. But we can’t thank the team there enough – they were fantastic.”

Elaine also praised Harry’s consultant, Dr Dermot Murphy, who she said would respond to her anxious email queries at all hours.

The family were delighted when the youngster was given the all clear on May 3.

Carmuir Primary School and Nursery turned out to congratulate Harry Frank on his cancer journey with a superheroes day. Pic: Contributed

Elaine, who is also mum to Joe, 18, Katie, 15 and nine-year-old Charlie said the news came on her daughter’s birthday making it a double cause for celebration at their home in Windsor Road, Falkirk.

Harry had only recently started at Carmuirs Early Learning and Childcare Centre when he became ill. He could have started at Bantaskin Primary last summer but his parents decided as he had missed so much of his early years time that they would wait till this August.

To mark his graduation from nursery and completing his cancer journey, staff and pupils organised a celebration last Friday with a superhero theme. It included a visit from Harry’s favourite – Spiderman, and the youngster wore his own costume on the day.

Elaine said: “The staff have been amazing all the way on this journey. Harry would go to nursery when he felt able and if he only lasted a couple of hours that was fine.

"When he was first diagnosed they came to our house, including one dressed as Spiderman, and put on a show for him in the front garden. He loved it.”

Harry with Spiderman and Stephanie Duncan, an early years officer who helped organise the celebration at Carmuirs. Pic: Contributed

Stephanie Duncan, an early years officer at the nursery, said: “Harry is a confident, clever and full of energy wee boy. He started back at nursery with so much enthusiasm and love for playing with his friends.

"As well as having him walk through the playground where everyone cheered for him, the school singing group also performed a special song for him.”

His mums and grandparents were also invited along to witness this special day and thank all those involved.