He fought so much – tributes after Lee loses cancer fight, aged 8
TRIBUTES have been paid to Lee Belgium, who has died after a three-year battle with cancer.
Eight-year-old Lee, whose family come from Thornbury but now live in Lyde Green, was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May 2016 when he was just six, and had been going to Bristol Children’s Hospital three times a week to have chemotherapy, steroids and a new trial drug.
After being told by doctors that there was nothing else that they could do for him in the UK, his family decided to do everything they could to raise £90,000 for Lee to go abroad for a treatment trial and a bone marrow transplant, which they hoped would save his life.
After raising nearly £80,000 over the last four months through a range of fundraising events, including several organised at Thornbury pub The Malthouse, mum Clare Boxall had planned to take superhero-fan Lee to Turkey for treatment.
However, the family were struck another blow when he came down with a bug called klebsiella pneumonia in March and they were forced to put their plans on hold.
Lee then developed mucormycosis, a rare fungal infection, and lost his battle for life on April 6.
Clare told the Voice: “Lee died from a horrible fungus infection that took over his beautiful face and throat.
“He fought so much – his little body was tired.”
Since then, there has been an outpouring of condolences from those who were giving the family moral and financial support.
Many shared their feelings on the Fight for Lee’s Life Facebook group, which has over 3,000 members, with people praising how hard the youngster had battled against the odds.
Supporters of Lee and his family described the youngster as “a hero” who would be loved and missed, with one saying: “You will be remembered always, little Lee.”
Clare and Lee’s dad, Simon, plan to set up a charity in Lee’s name, using the money raised for his treatment, after giving him a fitting funeral.
Clare and Simon outside Bristol Children's Hospital, where tributes to Lee were left.
They joined family members, friends and medical staff outside of Bristol Children’s Hospital, where Lee died, to remember him with a vigil two days after his death. Rows of flowers were left near the hospital’s entrance and candles were also lit in his memory.
Sports clubs have also paid their respects, with Mangotsfield-based Cleve RFC, Yate RFC and Wotton RFC among those holding a minute’s silence before their matches.
Lee’s funeral was due to be held at Westerleigh Crematorium on April 27, with mourners encouraged to honour Lee’s love of superheroes on the day.