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Prayer vital in cancer battle 

The Gillespie family, from Norfolk, is facing a challenging battle as their four-year-old son, James, fights a rare form of Leukaemia. Since Christmas Eve 2020, James has undergone intense chemotherapy and surgery, as well as a stroke that required more long-term care and treatment. The financial and emotional toll on the family led to the local community setting up fundraisers to cover medical expenses and provide support. Throughout this difficult journey, the family has relied on prayer, community support, and the resilience of the human spirit.

After facing initial treatment difficulties, James’s older sister, Faith, proved to be a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant. Despite being in the middle of her GCSE exams, Faith underwent surgery to donate bone marrow to her brother. The family traveled to Bristol Children’s Hospital for the transplant, enduring a four-month separation due to Covid restrictions. Unfortunately, after two years in remission, James relapsed, leading to a dire prognosis. However, Dr. Rob Wynn from Manchester Children’s Hospital offered a new treatment approach using cord blood cells and Granulocytes, giving James a chance for recovery.

James underwent a second transplant in January 2023 and is now being monitored by doctors and nurses in Manchester. His mother, Anne-Marie, who has been his main carer throughout this journey, has emphasized the importance of prayer in James’s recovery. Despite facing overwhelming odds, the family’s faith and the support of their community have been pillars of strength. Father Andrew Eburne, the Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Annunciation, praised the family for their faith and resilience, stating that James’s story is a reminder of the value of those who are sick and the power of community support.

James’s journey is a testament to the power of faith, prayer, and the strength of family bonds. The collective hope and prayers of his family and supporters continue to be a source of inspiration as James goes through his recovery process. The community’s fundraisers and online support have provided vital assistance during this challenging period. As James continues to defy the odds and show incredible resilience, his story serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder of the importance of faith, love, and community in times of adversity.

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