Hundreds say goodbye to Lee Belgium
HUNDREDS of mourners turned out to pay their respects to eight-year old Lee Belgium, who passed away in April after battling leukaemia for the third time.
Lee, whose family come from Thornbury but had moved to 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 more that they could do for him, last December 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 cake sales, family fun days, football matches and discos, Lee’s mum Clare Boxall had planned to take superhero fan Lee to Turkey for treatment, but he died on April 6.
Lee’s superhero-themed funeral was held at Westerleigh Crematorium on April 27. His body was taken to the chapel in a horse-drawn carriage, and his blue and white coffin was decorated with the words “Shine like a diamond” and “We love you Lee Belgium.” Mourners attended wearing superhero costumes, including Clare who dressed up as Wonder Woman.
Clare said nearly 240 people came to the funeral and added: “It was beautiful. We had fireworks and balloons in the evening, and I have half his ashes at home with me and half are buried.”
Lee with his mum Clare
Lee’s family are planning to set up a charity called Lee Belgium Lasting Legacy in order to help other families who have lost a child and keep to Lee’s name alive. The charity will provide free haircuts for funerals, as well as items such as teddy bears with heart-shaped lockets of hair and photo pillows, in order to help families remember their loved one.
Lee’s former primary school, Park Primary in Kingswood, has set up a Just Giving page to buy a superhero bench in his memory. The family and school have donated towards the bench and a public appeal is being made to raise the remaining amount. To find out more, visit: gofundme.com/lees-memorial-bench.