THE mum of a five-year-old boy who lost his three-year battle with cancer just two days before Christmas says she is ‘lost’ without him - but has been overwhelmed with the community support which allowed the youngster to fulfil some of his dreams.
George Alexander Singleton was originally diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a rare type of cancer that mostly effects babies and young children.
His mum, 32-year-old Claire Denton, of Penistone, told the Chronicle that the family has been left heartbroken since George’s death - and she feels ‘lost’ without her son who she was inseparable with since his bleak diagnosis back in 2018.
She said: “George started suffering with constipation when he was a baby and we had a lot of trips to the GP.
“We eventually went to Barnsley Hospital for a scan and then the next day we went to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“In October 2018 he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma whilst I was pregnant with his sister.
“From the very beginning we knew his chances weren’t very good but we always held out hope for him.”
The youngster had been having chemotherapy sessions to fight the cancer but at an appointment in February 2020, Claire and the family were told the disease had unfortunately spread.
George still continued to have chemotherapy sessions and on December 17 last year, they were told he only had a few days left and to try and keep the youngster as happy as possible.
He died less than a week later in Claire’s arms - just two days before Christmas.
“George always had a smile on his face no matter what,” she added.
“We called him the Hulk because he was so feisty.
“We’re completely lost without him.
“I was always with him, he slept in my room and we were never apart.”
Claire and the family still managed to hold a festive day with George - including a visit from Father Christmas thanks to support from local charity Briony’s Gift.
Briony’s Gift, on High Street in Wombwell, aims to provide gifts for seriously ill children in hospital, and was set up by parents Meayla and Darron Woodward after the death of their three-year-old daughter Briony in 2007 from neuroblastoma.
George also wanted to be a fireman when he grew up and, much to the surprise of the family, the youngster was visited by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue firefighters to give him a taster on what it’s like.
George’s cousin, ten-year-old Layla, has been growing her hair for the last year so she can have it cut shorter and have enough to donate to The Little Princess Trust - which gives children the opportunity to have a wig made after they lose their hair through treatment.
She’s raised almost £300 so far and a link to the fundraiser can be found on the Barnsley Chronicle website.
Layla’s sister, Caitlin Denton, is also an avid Barnsley FC fan, and she had wanted other Reds supporters to take part in a minute’s applause at Oakwell on Saturday in the sixth minute - as it would have been George’s sixth birthday today.
But with the game postponed, it’s hoped it can still go ahead at a later date.
She added: “From being born to his last day and even at his weakest point, he never failed to make you laugh or smile.
“The hole in our family that he’s left won’t ever be filled.”