Lympstone parents ‘overwhelmed’ by the support for their ‘Leo the lion’

PUBLISHED: 09:23 02 July 2015 | UPDATED: 09:23 02 July 2015

Staff at the Exmouth branch of Nat West bank have been busy raising funds for nine month old Leo Burton. Ref exe 1748-25-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Staff at the Exmouth branch of Nat West bank have been busy raising funds for nine month old Leo Burton. Ref exe 1748-25-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

The parents of a baby battling a rare form of cancer have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the support of the community.

Nine-month-old Leo Burton, of Wotton Lane, Lympstone, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer in January after parents James and Abby found a blood clot in his nappy.

More than £20,000 has been raised to pay for the family’s day-to-day expenses during their 10-week stay in America, where Leo will receive vital proton treatment.

Leo underwent months of chemotherapy in the UK and an operation to remove the tumour, but the cancer did not react as the doctors had hoped.

Doctors have said the treatment in the United States will give Leo the ‘best possible chance’.

His father, James, said the family was ‘stunned’ when doctors first told them of Leo’s condition.

He said: “It was just gut-wrenching pain and we were in a lot of shock. You’re being told things by consultants and they are throwing facts at you as you sit there – it was heart-breaking.”

Abby, who wanted to thank all those who have raised money for them, said: “It’s very hard to see what he is going through; he is a beautiful, happy boy.

“He surprises a lot of people; when you look at him, he is just smiling all the time.”

A three-day fundraiser held at the Exmouth branch of NatWest raised more than £600 for the Burton family.

Around £300 was raised by a party held at the All Saints Church, where 55 children had their meals provided for free by Krispies.

A Sunday Funday is being arranged in September at Exmouth Rugby Club to raise funds. For more information about fundraisers being held for the family and to donate, go to www.handsonforleo.co.uk


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