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Meet the Wolverhampton schoolboy who survived brain cancer and is now helping others

A schoolboy from Wolverhampton who survived brain cancer and had to learn to walk and talk again has raised more than £2,300 for children’s wards.

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Alfie Hinks with mum Kerry Hinks, Alfie’s sister Darcie Hinks, patient Alfie Hinks, Steph Friedl, Paediatric Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Kirsty Lewis, Senior Matron, Children’s Acute Services, and Nicola Bradshaw, Senior Sister on Ward A21

Alfie Hinks, aged 13, has now been cancer free for nearly two years, after being diagnosed on September 16, 2019, with a brain tumour.

Alfie Hinks, aged 13

He had been suffering headaches, vomiting, losing weight and losing his balance before undergoing a 12-hour operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH) to remove most of the tumour.

Chemotherapy at BCH and radiotherapy at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital followed while Alfie had to learn to walk and talk again after the tumour had affected his cognitive ability, mobility and eyesight.

Throughout this time, Alfie was a patient at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, having his transfusions, scans and check-ups at New Cross Hospital.

He was able to ‘ring the bell’ to signal his recovery after his final chemotherapy session on November 3, 2020.

During his recovery Alfie decided he wanted to raise money for the hospitals that saved his life, setting up 'Alfie’s Smile', which is in the process of becoming a registered charity.

A total of 280 family and friends of Alfie’s raised £2,372, which will be split between the Children’s Ward at New Cross and BCH, at a black tie ball held at Jacks Café and Bar in Wolverhampton.

Alfie and his family have now chosen items from a wishlist to benefit young patients, and he returned to the ward with mum Kerry Hinks, 38, brother Louie and sister Darcie to deliver the good news.

"I want the money to go to oncology patients with cancer and I’d like to buy children games to play and video games," said Alfie.

Alfie is now on a phased return back at Coppice Performing Arts School in Wednesfield, where he is a year 8 student.

"We’re so grateful and thankful for the treatment Alfie has had and to the children’s ward," said Kerry, a children’s services senior family support worker at Wolverhampton Council who has been married for 10 years to John, a project manager for water treatment firm H20 in Cheslyn Hay.

Kirsty Lewis, senior matron, children’s acute services, said: “We are so grateful to 'Alfie’s Smile' for choosing to support children’s services here at RWT.

“Alfie has first-hand experience of being a patient with us and so he has a brilliant insight into what we need to make things better and more comfortable for our oncology patients.

“His suggestion of more video gaming facilities and equipment will be top of our list and I have no doubt our future children and young people will be just as grateful to Alfie as we are.”

Amanda Winwood, charity development manager, added: "It was lovely to see Alfie looking so well – and cheeky – he certainly kept us all entertained.

"We’re delighted he and his family and friends have raised so much money and are so thankful he has chosen to donate it to the children’s ward."

Alfie’s Smile is set for more fundraising, with a children’s Christmas party on December 10 at Essington Community Hall and a quiz planned for January.

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