Penticton boy beats rare kidney cancer for third time

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Penticton family shares story about rare kidney cancer
There are not many stories that can top hearing about how a child beat cancer, 11-year-old William Hodgkinson is sharing how he overcame three bouts of a rare form of kidney cancer. Sydney Morton talked with the duo during Kidney Cancer awareness month – Mar 6, 2022

Son, brother, friend, aspiring player for the Chelsea Football Club, and three-time cancer survivor are a few of the things that make William Hodgkinson an incredible 11-year-old.

When William was seven he was diagnosed with Wilms Kidney Cancer, a rare form of childhood kidney cancer.

“Literally, the day before he’s been diagnosed he was just like any other kid, at least on the surface,” said TJ Hodgkinson, Wilms Cancer Foundation founder and William’s dad.

“He was playing football, hockey, swimming, you name it, just like any other child. But, out of the blue, he started complaining of a tummy ache. I took him to the local hospital and he was diagnosed with a massive tumour on his kidney and nine further tumours on his lungs. “We were rushed to the Children’s hospital where he underwent surgery to remove a kidney and extensive chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It’s quite an ordeal.”

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That would only be William’s first battle with the disease. He would head down a long road.

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After the initial diagnosis and a year of extensive protracted treatment, William, unfortunately, had two relapses.

“That resulted in having a partial lung removal — in fact, multiple lung operations and further chemotherapy,” Hodgkinson said.

William’s treatment ended just recently with a bone marrow stem cell transplant, Hodgkinson added.

“I’m happy to say that for the first time in four years, he’s currently cancer-free.”

Now, William is back on the field after a long-fought battle and ready for the next phase of his life.

“I just put it behind me and I just go along my normal life,” William said.

“I don’t want to remember it at all, so I just go on with my life.”

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The devastating time for William and his family inspired his dad to create the Wilms Cancer Foundation to help others

“You try to find another way to support other people who are on the journey,” Hodgkinson explained.

The foundation raises funds to support research while helping families and raising awareness. Organizers are busy planning fundraisers in an effort to expand the foundation across the country, and overseas.

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