Schoolboy Rupert Beckett tragically dies after cancer fight
Schoolboy Rupert Beckett, who brought together a community in a fight to treat his cancer, has died.
The six-year-old died at home surrounded by his family.
Rupert was recently given clearance for travel from his home near Bridgnorth to Barcelona with parents Ed and Sarah for specialist treatment.
But before the trip could go ahead, he took a turn for the worse. His family revealed he died in early hours of Thursday.
Rupert, of Stottesdon, was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma, which he called his ‘crocodile’, three years ago. It prompted a fundraising campaign, dubbed Rupert’s Revenge.
In a statement on the Rupert’s Revenge Facebook page, Mrs Beckett said: “Sadly, the flight to Barcelona left without us. The crocodile rapidly engulfed Rupert’s right lung and significantly spread, dashing all hopes of any further treatment and his bright future.
“It breaks my heart to say that we came so close, but Rupert was given only a few days to live. It happened so fast and so unexpectedly. It’s just so hard to comprehend.”
Mrs Beckett said that being at home with his siblings was the final wish of Rupert, who attended Castlefields Primary School in Bridgnorth.
“Thank you all for your help and support throughout Rupert’s illness,” she said. “Please try to remember the fun and laughter that Rupert brought to you.”
Rupert’s parents were raising money to get him specialist chemo immunotherapy treatment, which is not available on the NHS.
They were aiming to collect £750,000 for a trip to America, but recently found similar treatment would be available in Barcelona. He visited Barcelona for various tests in December before returning home to spend Christmas with his family.
More than £250,000 had been raised through various events in Bridgnorth since last February, when fundraising began.
A team of 200 people turned out to support the Rupert’s Revenge charity during last year’s Bridgnorth Walk.
More than a third of walkers were collecting to beat the crocodile in the event, which regularly raises more than £100,000 for charity.
The 200 strong group of supporters was the largest team in the walk’s history.
In November, members of the West End cast of shows including Les Misérables, West Side Story, Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera joined together with people of the town for the concert. The night raised a total of £18,447 after 750 people turned out – 185 of whom were part of the choir, some musicians and the rest audience members.