A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched to help parents whose seven-monthold son was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Chay Hawkins, 24, from Shoebury, and Courtney Spearman, 18, are still coming to terms with the news Teddy Hawkins is having to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
He is being looked after at Great Ormond Street Hospital, with friends and family rallying round to raise money to help Chay and Courtney make the continual trips up to London.
Chay said Teddy was taken into Southend Hospital with what they thought was a chest infection.
Chay said: “He had been really ill with a chest infection and we kept going back and forth to A&E and they just kept saying for him to carry on having antibiotics, but he didn’t improve.
“Then he came out in a rash, was pale and had no energy.
“The hospital did tests and told us Teddy had leukaemia. A team came down from Great Ormond Street and took us there.
“When we got there, it was a huge relief when they explained that he would survive.”
Teddy picked up almost immediately after starting his treatment at the London hospital.
He has now started a course of chemotherapy.
Mum Courtney has been at her son’s side since she received the terrible news.
She said: “When we heard, we broke down because all we could think was it was cancer.
“When we got to Great Ormond Street they sat us down and said there was a really high chance of a cure and that made us feel much better.
“We thought Teddy was going to die, but he has done really well. He has had chemo for a week and is really strong and happy.”
Chay is an artist at Oscar’s Tattoo and Piercing Studio, in Alexandra Street, Southend, where a fundraising campaign is under way to help the couple with their expenses during Teddy’s treatment.
Brad Nicholson, a fellow artist at the studio, said: “They are such a young couple and it’s been terrible for them, so we are trying to raise as much money as possible. We are doing a raffle and giving away lots of prizes, including tattoos and prizes other local companies have donated.
“Chay and Courtney have been up and down to Great Ormond Street and we just want to help in anyway we can, with travel and hotel expenses, whatever they need. When Teddy comes home he will need an air purifier in his bedroom, so we might be able to help with that.
“Courtney was always in the studio with Teddy so he is very much part of the family and we want to do all we can to help.”
To help, visit the studio or call 01702 341464. The raffle draw is on Saturday, May 31.