A BRAVE Weymouth youngster suffering from leukaemia is using his rehabilitation to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Five-year-old Elliot Barton, from Chickerell, is recovering from an incredibly rare form of leukaemia that only five people are diagnosed with each year in the UK.
The Wyke Regis Infant School pupil was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia in December and underwent a bone marrow transplant and four months of treatment in isolation at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Now he is on the road to recovery, Elliot’s family have launched a national fundraising campaign ‘BBQ for Cancer Research’ to raise money for the charity and help other children with cancer.
They have teamed up with Ross and Claire Moore from Bridport-based catering company Sausage and Pear to promote the campaign and are urging people in Dorset to become ‘BBQ Heroes’ by hosting a fundraising event this July.
Elliot’s mum Joanna Barton, 37, explained the barbecue idea was an obvious choice given her son’s condition.
“He can’t go to the cinema, supermarkets or on buses and trains – anywhere he could be put at risk of infection.
But he loves being outside and running around, and he enjoys barbecues.”
Elliot had a rash and persistent cough but blood tests failed to highlight the illness and the family were assured three times it was not leukaemia.
It was only when an expert at Southampton General Hospital saw Elliot’s case that she confirmed he had such a rare type of leukaemia she had only seen two other cases in over 30 years.
Mrs Barton said: “It came as a complete shock when Elliot was diagnosed but he has been abolutely amazing.
He just takes everything in his stride.
He let doctors examine him and do whatever needed to be done without fuss or bother.”
Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK spokesman for Dorset, said: “ By joining forces with grillers right across the UK our supporters in Dorset will bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”
To sign up to be a BBQ Hero and get a free pack with recipe ideas, decorations and much more, visit cruk.org/BBQ