The Worthing family share the story of their son’s cancer diagnosis at the age of two

The parents of a little boy who was diagnosed with cancer after doctors found an apricot-sized mass behind his eye have shared their story to raise awareness.

Four-year-old Louis Knight, from Worthing, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma aged just two after his parents Chris and Nicola noticed he had developed a squint in the middle of the first Covid lockdown in 2020.

After being examined by an ophthalmologist, Louis received a CT scan that showed an apricot-sized mass behind his eye.

He was quickly referred to Southampton General Hospital, where doctors broke the devastating news to the family that Louis had cancer and that the mass was rapidly increasing.

“They did MRIs and on Sunday they said they didn’t need a biopsy to confirm, they knew it was cancer and it was growing pretty fast, the size of an apricot,” Mr Knight said.

“On Sunday we spoke to the consultant and they said they would do a biopsy but not wait for the biopsy to start the treatment itself.”

The toddler had seven cycles of chemotherapy in Southampton.

The Argus: Louis gets a hug from IsabelleLouis gets a hug from Isabelle

Due to Covid restrictions, Louis could only have one parent with him at a time, which not only meant his mum and dad didn’t stay with him together, but his older sister Isabelle only saw him for three days during a home visit he was six months in treatment.

Mr Knight said one of the most difficult conversations he had to have was explaining the diagnosis to his six-year-old daughter.

“We didn’t really explain much to her for the first few weeks because we didn’t know what or how much to explain, but we knew we had to explain at some point because he was going to be in the hospital for quite a while during and we had to explain to her without lying what it was,” he said.

“We took her out and bought Louis and her a toy, had a McDonald’s, made sure I told her in the afternoon and not before bed, and basically read through a script and explained what it was, made sure that I explained it was cancer. explained about the chemotherapy what it would do to him in terms of hair loss.”

The Argus: Louis, who has since finished his treatment, with his sister Isabelle on HalloweenLouis, who has since completed treatment, with his sister Isabelle on Halloween

During Louis’ cancer treatment, the whole family was supported by Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK’s leading charity for children and young people with cancer.

During this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the charity is highlighting the many difficult conversations parents and caregivers have when their child is diagnosed and how their social workers are there to support families through the process.

“Emily, our social worker for Young Lives vs. Cancer, was an absolute life saver,” said Mr. Knight.

“She recommended a special book that explains cancer to children, which we immediately bought and read with Isabelle. It was great! Beautiful illustrations and really well written – we would never have found it ourselves.

“Just knowing someone was there who knew what you were thinking and made you feel normal was so comforting.”

Louis has now completed treatment; He is back home with his whole family and has also just started school. The Worthing family share the story of their son’s cancer diagnosis at the age of two

Fry Electronics Team

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