Nottingham

Rare cancer campaign launched for Nottinghamshire baby

A campaign has been launched to raise money for medical research after a Nottinghamshire baby boy was born with a rare form of cancer.

Austin Clift was born in September with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, which affects about one in 200,000 children.

Children's teams have been playing a charity football tournament in West Bridgeford in aid of Histiocytosis Research Trust.

The trust said about 50 children each year were diagnosed in the UK.

'Spread to liver'

Austin's father, Andy Clift, from East Leake, said his son was born with a rash from head to toe which doctors thought was chicken pox.

The baby was later diagnosed as having the rare cancer which can cause damage to parts of the body including bone marrow, skin, lungs, liver and brain.

"Since starting his original chemotherapy his illness has spread to his liver and spleen," he said.

"Austin spent a short time in the high dependency unit at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham following a change in treatment to an intensive form of chemotherapy in an attempt to get rid of the disease.

"He's always smiling. For someone that's so small you wouldn't think that he was a poorly as he is, he's an inspiration to all of us really," he added.

Mr Clift was hoping Austin, who has been at the hospital's children's ward since February, would have been discharged for the fundraising event.

More than one hundred children, including Austin's brother Adam, 13, and sister Molly, seven, took part to help the cause.

Mr Clift said he organised the event to raise "as much awareness as possible of this horrible illness so other families don't have to go through the same ordeal".

Austin's family said his prognoses seemed good but he would need treatment for many years.

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