Champion child Neve is aninspiration

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HOSPITAL has become a second home to little Neve Lunn and her family since she was diagnosed with cancer six months ago.

The 16-month-old has undergone seven rounds of chemotherapy for the neuroblastoma, which caused tumours in her tummy and chest, and spread to her spine, leg and lymph nodes.

But despite everything, her nanna Sherill Heald, of West Avenue, Horbury, said Neve is the happiest little girl anyone could ever wish to meet, and has nominated her for one of the Express’s Champion Children Awards.

She said: “She has a constant smile on her face. She is just amazing, and an inspiration to us all.”

Neve was diagnosed in May after her mum Nicola noticed her tummy looked unusually bloated. A trip to the doctors led to every parent’s worst nightmare.

The 29-year-old said: “We took her to the walk in centre and they thought something was wrong with her liver, but an ultrasound at Pinderfields Hospital revealed she had a mass in her tummy.

“I asked the doctor if there was a chance she could die and he said yes. We were heartbroken.”

High blood pressure meant tests to determine the extent of Neve’s cancer had to be delayed by two weeks, and after the agonising wait, the results revealed her cancer had spread. But her parents were given hope when doctors told them she had the lower risk version of the disease, which is less aggressive and can be treated with chemotherapy and surgery.

After a final round of chemo, Neve will undergo an operation in January to remove the tumour from her tummy, as well as her adrenal glands and possibly her right kidney, which was damaged when it was squashed by the cancer.

Her mum added: “The cancer has gone in her leg and spine and the tumour in her chest has shrunk.

“It’s such a relief to see the treatment is having an affect.

“Things have definitely changed for us though because Neve is so susceptible to colds and infections that we can’t take her to baby groups like we used to, but we’re lucky that we have lots of close friends and great family, so she does still get to mix with other children.”

As well as gruelling chemotherapy, Neve has to have regular blood transfusions and tests on her hearing and kidneys, which can be affected by all her medication.

Mrs Lunn added: “She is such a happy, sociable, brave and inspirational little girl.

“Even when she’s having a bad day or week, she’s still smiling. She’s so loving and affectionate and a real mummy and daddy’s girl. She’s just adorable.”

Neve’s family and friends have raised more than £8,000 for Candlelighters charity, which has helped them in the last few months.

To make a donation in Neve’s name visit

*Now is your chance to nominate your champion child.

There are no categories, so nominations can be for anything from helping in the community to triumphing over adversity in any way at all.

Just write a letter explaining why you have chosen them including your contact details and those of the child’s family if they are different to your own.

Send it to Champion Children, Wakefield Express, Express House, Southgate, WF1 1TE or email

Closing date for nominations is Friday, November 16.

The award ceremony will be held at Theatre Royal Wakefield on Friday, December 14. For more information call Emma Hakier on 01924 433013