Family and friends of Stotfold boy with terminal cancer ‘overwhelmed’ with response to make last days extra special
- Credit: Hannah Cowlishaw
The family and friends of an eight-year-old boy from Stotfold who has been given less than a month to live say they have been “overwhelmed” by the response from businesses and Comet readers to make his last days extra special.
Yesterday the Comet launched an appeal to find a hotel room which Hannah Cowlishaw and Henry Matthews would be able to stay in tonight after their Stotfold wedding - brought forward as mum Hannah was told last week that her son Ethan Martin had four weeks left to live.
Ethan - who was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 - has moved into Keech Hospice Care, but is able to attend today's wedding at St Mary's Church as staff from the Luton-based hospice will be there to provide care.
Friend Tracy Gilmore put out an appeal through the Comet in a bid to find Hannah and Henry a special place to stay on their wedding night - explaining that it needed to be local as they would be going to back to the hospice tomorrow.
READ MORE: Mum of eight-year-old Stotfold boy with terminal cancer brings wedding forward so he can be part of special dayTracy said she has been inundated with offers, including from Letchworth Hall Hotel, The Broadway Hotel in Letchworth and Hotel Cromwell in Stevenage, but the couple have opted for Champneys Henlow due to its nearby location. Hannah and Henry have also been offered complimentary breakfast and use of the spa as they celebrate tying the knot.
As well as public offers to pay for a hotel room, Tracy said a number of people have said they will donate presents for Ethan and his two brothers when they celebrate Christmas - which the family are bringing forward so Ethan can celebrate it with Jack, four, and Brandon, 12.
Reflecting on the response, Tracy, who is meeting with Stotfold News Magazine which has offered to assist with the appeal, said: "It's overwhelming, and left us speechless.
"The amount of people who have rung me and messaged me has been unbelievable - my phone hasn't stopped!
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"With all the offers of toys the kids are going to be spoilt rotten, but with everything the family have been through we're going to make sure Hannah and Henry are going to be spoilt rotten, too."
The news of Ethan's terminal diagnosis comes after a rollercoaster few years for the family. Following his 2016 diagnosis, the St Mary's C of E Academy pupil was given the all clear in January 2017 after an operation and chemotherapy.
But in January last year Ethan's family were given the devastating blow that the cancer had returned and was in his head and spine. He had radiotherapy and an operation to remove 96 per cent of the cancer from his spine.
Last week the family was told there is nothing more doctors can do, and that he had four weeks to live.
Ethan is now near the end of his journey and has moved into Keech Hospice Care, with his mum staying with him.
"I think he knows," said Hannah. "He said he's done fighting and has had enough. He said his brain is dying."
If you wish to help make the family's early Christmas extra special, please message Tracy on 07565 306484 or email email@example.com.