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Family devastated after baby girl diagnosed with cancer

Cherry Cookson from Macclesfield is just five months old but is fighting cancer in hospital.

Lucy Fay Photography
Ben and Verity Cookson, from Macclesfield, with daughters Pepper and Cherry before she was diagnosed

The community is rallying to support a family after they received the devastating news that their five-month-old daughter has a rare form of cancer.

It was just two weeks ago that little Cherry Cookson, who is just five months old, developed a lump on her side.

Her parents Ben and Verity had become concerned a few weeks before when she developed cold symptoms and was being sick, but Cherry had showed no signs of anything more serious before that.

Her grandmother found the lump as she changed Cherry’s nappy and Ben and Verity immediately took her to Macclesfield Hospital where she had tests and a scan which revealed a growth in her abdomen.

She was taken to Manchester Children’s Hospital the next morning for more tests and scans and her family faced an agonising week while doctors determined what was wrong.

Five month old Cherry Cookson, from Macclesfield, has cancer and is being treated in Manchester Children's Hospital.

Cherry, who lives with her family on Hathaway Drive in Macclesfield, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, cancer of the nervous system which affects around 100 children a year.

Her mum Verity, 30, a full time mum and former nursery nurse, has been at her bedside since, with dad Ben, 35, driving back and forth from Macclesfield while looking after their other daughter Pepper, four.

Ben, an accountant at Cheshire East council, said: “When we took Cherry into hospital we were told to be concerned but it was when we realised she was on the children’s oncology ward that it hit us it was cancer and our world changed.

“You go into survival mode, switch your emotions off and try and do the best for your child.

“She had a cough and cold for about four weeks and was being sick but you don’t expect it will be cancer. She’s only five months.

“But we hope the fact she is so young is a good thing. It means we’ve caught it early and she has a good chance.

“It’s devastating. Verity has not seen daylight in hospital with Cherry and I’ve been trying to keep it together for Pepper. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

Cherry had an operation to remove fluid on her lungs and has had trouble breathing. Now she is undergoing chemotherapy to shrink the tumour.

Ben said: “It’s horrible seeing your baby go through this, but when you see a little glimpse of her personality coming through it shows she’s not in pain.

“Cherry is normally a smiley little girl but we’ve only seen a few smiles since all of this and it breaks our hearts.

“But she is so strong and determined. We know she’ll get through this and will be smiling again.”

Would you like to help? Click here to donate to baby Cherry's cause.

5 month old Cherry Cookson from Macclesfield, pictured during her treatment in hospital with big sister Pepper, who is four.


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