Toddlers cancer dismissed for three years as stomach problems

Toddlers cancer dismissed for three years as stomach problems

The mum from Runcorn, Cheshire, says she feels let down by the care her daughter, Ella, received in the past couple of years.

“We’ve been told she could have been born with this,” Claire, 38, revealed.

“I’m just feeling so let down with the number of times we’ve been back and forth.”

The distraught mum elaborated: “I just can’t get my head around how it’s not been detected in three years of going to hospital with stomach problems.”

Ella has received multiple diagnoses, from lactose and dairy intolerant to having a viral infection, or simply being constipated.

In May 2023, Ella’s stomach issues became more severe, so further medical investigations were made.

Ella was then referred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, where an ultrasound revealed a large mass at the back of her stomach.

Following an MRI scan the following week, Ella has been tragically diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma.


Children With Cancer UK explains: “Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops in nerve cells.”

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Mainly affecting babies and children under the age of five, tumours typically develop in the abdomen, like Ella’s, or in the adrenal glands.

The first symptoms are loss of appetite, tiredness, and pain in the bones.

Additional symptoms might include:

  • Small, blue-coloured lumps
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Swollen belly
  • Difficulty swallowing and breathing.

Unfortunately, neuroblastoma has “one of the lowest survival rates of all childhood cancers”.

Stage four neuroblastoma means “the cancer has spread to parts of the body that are some distance from where it started”.

Young Ella is now in her seventh round of chemotherapy and is going to have surger, a stem cell transplant, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy.

“It’s up and down at the moment; it’s good days and bad days,” Claire shared.

“She’s got no energy and no mobility at all for her to run around or play, it’s taken it right out her.”

Claire is now raising funds for Ella’s care on a Go Fund Me page.

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