Exclusive: Dawson’s mum talks of family’s heartbreak after he loses fight with cancer

Dawson Willcock
Dawson Willcock

A community is in mourning after tiny Dawson Willcock lost his battle with cancer.

His mum Wendy, speaking exclusively to the Chad this week told of her precious son’s final hours and said she felt’ proud yet broken’ by the two year old’s fight.

Wendy said: “He kept fighting to his very last breath. I felt a mixture of pride and being distraught beyond words I just feel love and pride.

“It is just a case of taking one hour at a time.

“It came round suddenly.

“On Monday he was sitting eating and doing really well and we genuinely thought he would be here at Christmas .

“On Wednesday we were thinking of going to Winter Wonderland.

“But he dropped ill and he had to be put on oxygen.

“It was absolutely incredible on Friday the whole of my Facebook was filled with green hearts . Everyone was in mourning and there was an eerie quiet in the street.

“People left teddy bears and balloons in the garden, it was beautiful.

“The community and people outside- everyone has stood by us since he took a turn for the worse in May. It makes us stronger.”

Wendy thanked Paul Brown director of A Wass Funeral Directors, who are handling funeral arrangements.

She said: “Paul carried Dawson out and put him on his lap rather than just put him in the ambulance. He treated him like our Dawson not just a body.”

Wendy said the family are donating Dawson’s tumour to Addie’s Hepatoblastoma Research.

She said; “It was a very rare form of cancer. It was massive on his liver and it was resistant to nine different chemotherapy drugs.

“We want to help in the fight to beat this.”

She added: I want to thank everyone who has supported us and most of all the wonderful community nurses at Queen’s Medical Centre.”

Confirming the news on Friday, Wendy posted on Facebook: “At 6.03pm, the bravest little boy we ever knew left for a better place.

“Our hearts are broken and only being held together by pride, love and admiration for the child we brought in to this world and cuddled as he left.

“Surrounded by his family that he loved so very much, he came to peace on what certainly was Black Friday.

“I’ve never felt so proud yet broken as I do now.

“We love you our sunshine, we will take you everywhere with us xxxx”

Dawson was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer in January.

Hepatoblastoma is a rare liver cancer that affects one in a million children.

The two-year-old’s plight captured people’s hearts after his parents, Wendy and David, of Warnadene Road, Sutton, launched a “dollar for Dawson” fundraising campaign to pay for pioneering treatment in America.

The family began the Dollar for Dawson appeal after UK-based chemotherapy failed, but were eventually told by specialists in America that the treatment would not save their son.

More than £350,000 was raised to fund Dawson’s treatment in the USA.

But after the family were given the heart-breaking news that the cancer was far “too aggressive” for treatment they decided to put some of the money raised toward purchasing a caravan at Butlin’s Skegness, to be named Dawson’s Home for Heroes.

The rest will be used for research and to help other patients.

Earlier in the year, hundreds of strangers from around the world sent Dawson paper hearts with messages on them for what would be his last birthday.

The family held an early Christmas in their home for their son, complete with Santa and reindeer, because of fears he wouldn’t make the festive season and hundreds of local people took part in a fancy dress Christmas parade.

Mansfield Town held a minute’s applause for Dawson at the club’s derby game with Chesterfield at 1pm on, Saturday.

The applause for Dawson took place in the second minute, followed by applause for 12-year-old Chesterfield supporter Abbie Jacques in the 12th minute, who passed away last month.

Stags’ manager Steve Evans said: “Having met Dawson and his family only a few months ago, it’s heartbreaking to today learn of the young lad’s passing.”

This week Chad readers have paid tribute to Dawson on Facebook.

Gordon Telfer said: “So sad, brave little man. The pain is over. Thinking of the family. The world is so cruel.”

Tisha Rodgers said: “Why is this happening? Sending my condolences to your family and wishing you comfort and pain-free in heaven. RIP Dawson. We will never forget you. Brave little soldier.”

Linda Booth posted: “Good night, sweetheart. You were one very brave little boy. You’ve got your angel wings now. Rest in peace, little man.”

Lisa Woodland said: “Heaven has gained a true fighter.”

Lynn Sankey said: “So sorry for your loss. Such a brave, beautiful boy now safe in the arms of the angels. May you find comfort knowing that he is out of pain and at rest. Heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.”

Leanne May said: “Such a gorgeous little man with a smile to light up the sky. You were a true warrior and a brave soldier. Will miss you little man.”

Lisa Woodland Wrote: So sad to hear this thinking of his family x heaven has gained a true fighter

Jennifer Timson said: “RIP young man and our hearts go out to your wonderful family

Clare Fillingham said: “Sending my love to you all. Fly high poppet xxx

Susan Leivers: “RIP brave little man...thinking of you all at this saddest time..x

Nicola Smith: “So sorry to hear this sad news, time to rest now, brave little boy. Thinking of his heartbroken family today, and sending my deepest condolences.

Ann Jackson: So sad little man RIP fly high with the angels xx

Polly Parkinson Merifield wrote: “ Rip little man you tried your hardest to stay with us fly high with your angelwings xxxxxxx”

Kim Varley: “ So sad news r.i.p little man fly high with Angels xxx