Baby Diagnosed with Leukemia Days After Dad Finished Cancer Treatment: It Was 'Devastating'

Alfie Webb's father just finished treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma when the 11-month-old boy was diagnosed with cancer

Alfie Webb
Photo: JustGiving

A Scottish couple was devastated when their nearly 1-year-old baby boy was diagnosed with blood cancer just after his father finished treatment for a similar disease.

Alfie Webb was only 11 months old when he was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital after his parents, Saffron and Ollie Webb, noticed he was ill and running a fever, his grandmother Karen Miller wrote on a donation page. It was at the hospital that doctors told the family that Alfie had an aggressive form of leukemia, a cancer that starts in the bone marrow and eventually leads to shortages in blood cells, white blood cells, and blood platelets, according to the American Cancer Society.

The news was heartbreaking for the parents as Ollie had recently completed his treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

“Ollie had only just finished treatment himself for Hodgkin’s lymphoma so it seemed even more unbelievable that from a beautiful little family of three this could be happening to two of them,” Miller wrote on the family’s JustGiving page.

According to The Scotsman, Ollie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October and underwent three weeks of radiation therapy. Alfie’s diagnosis came just nine days later after his father’s last session.

“To be told that Alfie had leukemia was a massive shock and completely devastating for us. Alfie’s dad Ollie had just finished treatment for cancer and hadn’t yet had the all clear,” Saffron told the newspaper, “so at that point I didn’t know if either of them would be okay.”

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After the cancer was discovered, Alfie stayed in the hospital for six months until he finished four cycles of chemotherapy treatment. He also endured frequent platelet and blood transfusions, The Scotsman reported.

“At the hospital he would be crying at the door because he wanted to go outside,” Saffron said. “When he was having chemo he couldn’t move as he was hooked up to the machine but all he wanted to do was crawl around.”

But the family is now holding on to hope that they can find a match for Alfie’s stem cell donation. They may also begin looking at an alternative treatment that costs $190,000. So far, they have only raised $3,500 of their goal.

“Please, can you help us raise this money to give Alfie a chance,” Miller wrote on the donation page. “He is 17 months old now, and the light of our lives.”

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