A COUPLE who lost their nine-month-old baby to a rare form of cancer have been overwhelmed by community support to fund research into the disease.

Lianne and Patrick Quilliam’s son Joey died in September, six months after he began receiving treatment after being diagnosed with a extra-renal rhabdoid tumour.

Rhabdoids are extremely rare forms of cancer, mainly affecting children aged five and under.

And despite receiving chemotherapy and beginning radiotherapy, secondary tumours in Joey’s lungs started to come back at such a rate that his treatment was rendered useless.

Lianne said: “We found some devastating facts and figures while Joey was poorly and we thought if we didn’t take some action then nobody was going to speak up for those groups of children who have rare forms of cancer.”

The couple, from Wylam, set up Joey’s Fund, through the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, to fund research into rhabdoid tumours, and have now raised more than £10,000 thanks to support from those in Wylam, Prudhoe and further afield. They promote the fund through the Joey’s Fund Facebook page, which they hope people will join to spread awareness.

Lianne explained that those around them had arranged all of the fund-raising, allowing the family time to grieve and spend time with their three-year-old daughter Bea, with support including £1,200 in fund-raising from Prudhoe’s Highfield Middle School, where she is a teacher, as well as donations from family, friends and even strangers.

They hope that the fund will enable research to lead to higher survival rates, as well as greater awareness of the symptoms of the cancer.

Patrick said: “The fund has been a really positive thing for us. It’s the kind of boost we need at this moment in time – to see something positive come out of this, if anything positive ever can come out of such a horrible situation.”

Follow the progress with Joey's Fund through the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/joeysfundUK/