Schoolboy’s legacy is life-saving cancer charity

·1-min read
 Noah Tesselaar (Supplied)
Noah Tesselaar (Supplied)

The family of a five-year-old London schoolboy who died from an infection while undergoing cancer treatment have set up a charity to try to prevent further deaths.

Noah Tesselaar was diagnosed with leukaemia in May 2020 and died just a month later after contracting a fungal infection that his immune system was too weak to fight off.

He was in his first year at Kew Green Preparatory School when he received the cancer diagnosis out of the blue. Noah, whose family described him as a happy child with a “natural zest for life”, died from the fungal infection mucormycosis after his first month of chemotherapy.

His family, from Richmond, have launched Noah’s Pink Balloon Leukaemia Fund which will support research into life-threatening infections common in blood cancer patients, and fund a research fellow to help find answers. The charity has joined researchers at the University of Exeter who are leading the way in tackling fungal infections. They visited his old school to speak to his friends and teachers about their work.

Noah’s mother Susan Tesselaar, who co-founded the charity, said the visit to the Kew Green school was about how science and medicine can help people who are critically ill.

She said: “Noah truly inspired me and I want to raise awareness and highlight the danger of these fungal infections.”

Noah was diagnosed with leukaemia after becoming pale, had a cough and complained of difficulty breathing.

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