Sadly Little Elliott passed away on 1 December 2022.
Little Elliott Peto’s short life is in the balance after he has been diagnosed with rare and fast-growing Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer last year.
This type of sarcoma cancer affects the muscles that are attached to the bone. Rhabdomyosarcoma tumours occur mostly around the head and neck. It is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma to occur in childhood.
Elliott aged just 5, when he is well enough attends Sacred Heart School.
For over two months last year, Elliott’s parents were asking for a paediatric referral from a GP and dentist. The cancer was only identified after another GP suggested going to A&E because of Elliott’s severe cheek pain. Aimée, Elliott’s Mum said, “We obviously feel that a lot of education is required at grass roots level regarding this type of tumour and identifying it. It grows quickly, aggressively and spreads.”
The cancer was inoperable but they have treated it with chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the past year. Chris, Elliott’s Dad expressed with deep sadness, “Although the tumour responded well initially to intensive chemo so there was always hope it could work. However the main site is not gone and has continued to grow. He has potentially weeks or months left.”
“Elliott has had excellent care and support from the John Radcliffe team and Royal Berks and all the other specialists since diagnosis, however more research and funding needs to be given on a national level towards treatment and cure for this,” explained Aimée.
Young Lives vs Cancer charity have been helping Aimée and Chris to obtain benefits whilst they have taken time off work. Aimee works at the River & Rowing Museum and Chris works in Henley on private estates and garden maintenance. The charity have also provided small grants and accommodation near the hospitals. Aimée comments, “I can’t thank them enough. Also the children’s hospice, Helen House in Oxford are wonderful and getting to know and care for Elliott.”
Before Elliott became ill, Aimée described him as a “sociable, bright and very funny child.” Sadly he has been unable to interact with his friends because he has had to shield during his treatment. Aimée said, “He’s had a very challenging journey over the last 14 months and shown exceptional bravery and fortitude, and had made us both so proud. But also as parents this has been an unbelievably difficult journey and has decimated our sense of normality and if it wasn’t for all the support we’ve had it would’ve destroyed us by now.”
Elliott’s parents’ priority now is to build awareness of the cancer and to raise money to give Elliott some magical moments and his comfort and wellbeing. Aimée explained “If he’s well enough he would love to go to the zoo, an aquarium and Harry Potter World. More than anything it is being with his family; particularly cousins and his friends. We will have to manage it carefully as he now becomes easily tired and unwell.”
A gofundme page has been set up to raise funds for Elliott but any surplus there is will be channelled into research of the treatment of his condition. Chris said, “Before Elliott’s diagnosis, we were oblivious to the range of cancers. We are aware that Elliott’s is quite rare, so if his story can generate funds for his wellbeing, and simultaneously educate people, that would sit well with us.”