The young son of a woman from Guernsey has completed a course of cancer treatment, and has rung the hospital bell - a rite of passage for patients when they come to the end of their course of chemotherapy.
River Dennis was diagnosed with a very rare form of pediactric cancer called Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor or AT/RT in 2016. He has been having treatment ever since at Lurie's Children's hospital in Chicago, where the family live.
River's mum, Lucy Dennis, grew up in Guernsey before moving to America where she met her husband, Dallas. The couple have two children now, River, 2, and his younger sister, Tilly who is just 9 months old.
As the family live in America, they have had to pay for some of River's treatment. Friends in Guernsey rallied around following his diagnosis, organising a number of events to raise money to help cover River's medical bills including music concerts.
After almost two years of hospital visits, stays and set backs, Mrs Dennis announced on Facebook last week that her son would be ringing the bell meaning he had received his last treatment of chemotherapy. She told friends that she was "so proud and so relieved" calling her son a "brave little lion man!"
Posting recently on a Facebook page, set up so family and friends in Guernsey and the UK could follow River's progress, Mrs Dennis posted:
"I have so many emotions running through me at the moment but the one I want to hold onto is relief. Because I’m beginning to feel that. Relief that this is so very nearly over. And also pride. I am so immensely and indescribably proud of my child. He has defied odds. For over half of his precious life he has had to endure things no person should EVER have to. But he’s done it! And he’s THRIVING! Loving and living and laughing."
Following that, River completed one further course of chemotherapy at the hospital, before being asked to 'ring the bell' which he did on Friday 16 March.
Above and top: Pictures and video courtesy of Lucy Annika Dennis, via Facebook. Thanks to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
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