Mum announces ‘hero’ baby Francis is cancer free – and gets letter of support from Jurgen Klopp
4 weeks ago
Baby Francis, who sparked a massive Merseyside campaign after his parents appealed for donors to help give him a life-saving stem cell transplant, is cancer free.
Mum Anna Holland broke the news to dad Aaron with an emotional note held by their now healthy little boy announcing: “Daddy… I’m cancer free!!! I fought cancer and won.”
She said: “Aaron definitely didn’t expect Francis knocking at his door with this, the most wonderful news.
“But we have been told that Francis is MRD negative, and that means the most advanced microscopes and tests can’t detect cancer anywhere in his body.
“After we got the news, me and Francis were allowed to walk outside over to Ronald McDonald house to give his dad the best wake up call.”
The news comes as it has been revealed Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wrote a letter of support to dad Aaron.
In the letter, Tweeted (X) by blood cancer charity DKMS, the Reds’ boss told him:
“I have been told about your situation so, just as you have always supported us, now I would like to let you know that you and your son have the support of everyone at Liverpool FC.”
And he added:
“Right now, you need our support and I can tell you that you have it. You have it from the players, owners, directors, staff and the supporters. On a personal level, I can assure you that you and your son are in my thoughts and prayers.
“You’ll Never Walk Alone!”
After announcing the good news about Francis, Anna said:
“We are truly speechless. I will never ever be able to put into words what Francis has been through, yet time and time again he’s fought when most people would have given up.
“Francis had such a rough transplant. He spent time in intensive care on a life support machine, and at that time we genuinely didn’t know what his fate would be as he had some organ failure.
“He has been having chemotherapy and really intense treatment since he was three months old, but he’s fought everything thrown at him. And he’s beaten the odds and won.
“Francis really is our hero. He inspires me, and he has inspired so many others to be strong.”
Francis was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a type of blood cancer which causes the bone marrow to make too many abnormal white blood cells and prevents it from making healthy blood cells.
He underwent chemotherapy, but doctors told the family his only chance of a cure would be to have a stem cell transplant.
In August last year Anna, who’s from Formby, appealed to people aged 16-30 to sign up to the Anthony Nolan register in a bid to find her son a match, before teaming up with blood cancer charity, DKMS, to organise special blood stem cell donor registration events in Merseyside throughout September. (DKMS holds the UK’s largest stem cell register and signs up people aged 17-55).
For both Anna and DKMS it meant new potential donors could be found and registered who could give hope not just to Francis, but to other blood cancer patients.
Fortunately for Francis and his family, a stem cell match was found, and in December an operation to transplant stem cells went ahead in a north west hospital.
It led to the positive news that, thankfully, Francis is now well.
DKMS said: “We’re delighted to share that baby Francis is cancer-free!”]