A brave four-year-old Burgess Hill boy, has become the face of a new national fundraising campaign.
Seb Stevens has been chosen to become the new face for CLIC Sargent, the children and young people’s cancer support charity.
In the run up to Christmas, Seb, who was diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancer when he was just 18-months-old, is appearing on posters in Ernest Jones stores nationwide to publicise the charity’s new teddy bear.
Barnaby the CLIC Sargent Bear, is a plush teddy being sold to raise money for the charity’s work supporting young cancer patients.
Seb, along with his mum Natasha Penney and his dad Luke Stevens, also star in a short online film for the Barnaby campaign, talking about their experiences and the support they received from CLIC Sargent.
Seb was diagnosed with cancer in October 2015, following many visits to the GP and hospital. The family was forced to cut short their summer holiday when Seb was in so much discomfort they needed to rush him to A&E. Eventually, a scan revealed that Seb had a cancerous mass on his bladder.
Natasha, 36, said: “When we were told that Seb had cancer it was awful. In my head I was just thinking ‘Why can’t it happen to me and not my baby?’
“Seb was so young at the time and he couldn’t really talk much so it was really difficult. Every time a doctor or nurse came near him he would scream and shout because he just didn’t understand.
Seb had chemotherapy followed by an operation to remove the tumour. He then had brachytherapy, a type of radiotherapy which meant he had to lay still in a cast for three days.
His mum said: “Seb really kept us going, when he was laughing or giggling it would lift us all and make us laugh.
“If he wasn’t in pain he had a smile on his face and wanted to play. I called him our superhero son for how he handled everything.
“The support from CLIC Sargent was amazing. They were always there for us and they had me in tears every time because they were so lovely.
Everyone at CLIC Sargent has the time for you.
“We were in touch with two CLIC Sargent social workers, Claire and Nicolette, who helped us to sort out our finances by getting us some grants and were generally really emotionally supportive.
“They also arranged for Luke to stay at Paul’s House, the charity’s home from home in London, so that he could be close by while he was having some treatment. I don’t know how we would’ve coped without it.
“Seb is now doing well and we’re so happy to be able to support the Barnaby campaign as we know that the money will make an enormous difference to families like ours.”
Seb finished treatment in May 2016 and is still having regular check-ups and scans.
For every Barnaby bear bought, H. Samuel and Ernest Jones will donate the profits to CLIC Sargent. Barnaby is available for £9.99 in H. Samuel and Ernest Jones stores nationwide.