A LITTLE star who has defied all odds has been named as one of the bravest tots in the country.
Miracle boy Maison Larman, one, came as a total surprise after his parents Lizzi Sutcliffe, 25, and Louis Larman, 26, were told they could not have children.
However, their joy at his arrival last January was short-lived when the couple discovered their baby had been born with cancer.
Being born with cancer is extremely rare and the type little Maison was diagnosed with was also uncommon.
Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma typically affects the head and neck area, bladder, or in or around the genitals.
Lizzi and Louis, of Benfleet, realised something was wrong when they spotted a lump in his stomach whilst changing Maison's nappy, which resulted in bruising.
By the time he was nine days old the bruising had spread to his legs.
Lizzi, a book-keeper, said: "I had polycystic ovaries so I was told I would never have children, so Maison was a total surprise.
“I was absolutely thrilled and all the way through my pregnancy, I was ultra-careful – I didn’t touch alcohol and I stayed away from any smoke.
"When they told me he had cancer, I thought "that’s it - he’s going to die. After all we have been through, we are going to lose him".
"His whole life has been tests and operations, blood transfusions, scans and chemotherapy. But despite all he has been through, Maison is the happiest little boy ever, he is always smiling and laughing. I am a very proud mummy.”
After doctors at Southend Hospital found a 10cm tumour in his bladder, Maison was immediately transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he spent nine weeks undergoing treatment.
The tot, who has just turned one, finished his final chemotherapy session on Monday and is set to be given the all-clear.
Maison has been handed a Little Star award by Cancer Research UK in recognition of his bravery after being nominated by his proud parents.
The awards are open to under-18s who have cancer or who have been treated for the disease in the last five years.
Lizzi added: "Looking back, it all happened in a bit of a blur. There was no history of cancer in the family. It was just pure bad luck that Maison was born with it.
“However, the one thing we do want to do now is make people aware that this can happen – babies can be born with cancer. It’s rare but it can happen.”