While dressing their little boy one day, his parents noticed that his left arm was in severe pain. They immediately took him to the hospital, where the doctors initially thought it was a dislocation. But their lives were forever changed after an unexpected diagnosis.
Leanne and Chris Waite lived with their beautiful family in the town of Fairford, Gloucestershire, England. In 2021, the couple, who were parents to three children, two daughters, and a son, stumbled upon something that proved life-changing.
In April 2021, Leanne and her husband, Chris, were dressing their boy, Albie Waite, when they realized that his left arm was in severe pain after it got caught in his t-shirt. They took their son to the Great Western Hospital A&E in Swindon, Wiltshire, without wasting time.
A Trip to the Hospital
Initially, the doctors told the Waites that their son had either a dislocated collarbone or a pulled elbow. But after a week, the couple took their 21-month-old boy back to A&E after discovering a lump on his collarbone.
The broken-hearted mom said it was a painful sight to see her playful boy unable to do all the things he loved.
A Painful Diagnosis
Little Albie was then taken to Bristol’s Children’s Hospital, where his parents received a piece of heart-stopping news — their son was diagnosed with a rhabdoid tumor — a rare childhood cancer that appears in the body’s soft tissues.
Even more heartbreaking was that Albie was given a prognosis of only six to 12 months. Leanne and Chris noted that their sweet boy underwent surgery to remove some of his tumor, leaving him with a long scar across his neck.
A Sigh of Relief
The Fairford tot went through radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and physiotherapy treatments and spent a long time in different hospitals in London and the U.K.
Finally, after living a parent’s worst nightmare and having their lives turned topsy-turvy for months, the Waites were in for a total surprise. In December 2021, two days before Christmas, Leanna and Chris’s beloved Alvie was declared cancer-free.
A Challenging Time
It was a day the Gloucestershire parents never thought they would live to see — a day that changed their outlook on life. Looking back on the painstakingly difficult period of their lives, Leanne said:
“I cannot even explain the shock of finding out Albie had cancer. We thought he had a poorly arm and were given a cancer diagnosis. It was so difficult but somehow, we pulled through as a family.”
A Heartbreaking Sight
The distraught mother recalled how her son was constantly drained and had no energy to do anything following the prognosis. Leanne, who said she was pregnant with her fourth child, Addison, at the time, managed to breastfeed Albie while his treatment continued.
Leanne stated that her sister, Megan, and mother, Kelly, helped look after her other kids, Lilly and Poppy, while she and Chris tended to little Albie. The broken-hearted mom said it was a painful sight to see her playful boy unable to do all the things he loved.
Ringing the Bell
When Albie rang the end-of-treatment bell on December 23, 2021, his family was over the moon. Leanne said she was relieved to see her son return to his cheerful self, which she had longed to feel. Chris recounted:
“For Albie, ringing the bell marked the end of having his chemotherapy treatment. For us, it was a really emotional moment and marked the end of a very long and traumatic journey.”
Getting Back to Normal
Leanne noted that her beloved boy gradually started acting like a normal tot, enjoying walks to the park, playing with animals, and goofing around with his three sisters.
Even with restricted movement in his right arm, Leanne said her son quickly began adapting from being right-handed to using his left hand. The mother-of-four also credited her other children for stepping up and helping to care for their brother. She expressed:
A New Perspective
Albie’s father, Chris, a self-employed general builder, said that before his son fell ill, he worked long hours, including weekends, to support his family. But after tending to little Albie, the Fairford dad said he realized how important it is to be with your loved ones.
Leanne doted on her lovely family and said she and the girls were fortunate to have Albie as their little miracle and Chris as an inspiring husband and father. The Waites shared that after surviving their ordeal, they were focused on only one thing — cherishing their time as a family.
We are beyond elated to know that little Albie defeated cancer like a true fighter, and we wish him more joyous days with his loved ones.