Boy, 7, with cancer ‘devastated’ after thief swipes charity box for ill kids

A mum with a young son being treated for cancer has hit out after a thief stole one of his charity boxes.

Gemma Hebbron said seven-year-old Thomas, who is currently undergoing four years of chemotherapy, was left "devastated".

He was diagnosed with cancer at the age of five, LeedsLive reports.

His mum, of Leeds, said a charity fund was set up in his name to raise money for research into childhood leukaemia.

The little lad handed collection boxes to local shops.

But Gemma said a man stole one of the boxes from Soap Opera launderette in Leeds on December 27.

The box featured his picture and explained the cause the money would support.

Gemma, a retired teacher and now his full-time carer, had given him something to focus on.

She said: "My son is absolutely devastated. I can't quite believe it. It takes a special kind of a*****e to do that.

"Its got his name on and says what its for. The shop let us know what happened and reported it to the police and I rang them up with the details.”

She said Thomas had help from other charities after he was diagnosed in February last year and he “wanted to do something back”.

Gemma added: “We've done quite a few fundraising events for childhood leukaemia since and the charity asked if he could have a fund in his name and you can choose where the money goes.”

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The charity fund went live on his birthday in September and they set a goal to raise £1,000 by the end of the year.

They managed to reach £2,000 by Christmas.

Gemma added: "The chemotherapy he has is aggressive and it's for four years in total. “It's caused heart problems, walking problems, he's had to learn to write again, it's been so problematic.

"He was upset about it but we're getting there now.

“It's a lot for a little one to think about but the charity work he's doing has given him something to focus on rather than him being poorly even if it won't help him directly."

Gemma posted an appeal on social media in a bid to find the man and retrieve the money.

She said: "This is the third time Thomas has had to fight for his life, first at birth, the second when he had sepsis at two-years-old and now this.

"My son has been working tirelessly to help other children even though he has over two years left of treatment to go."

West Yorkshire Police said: "Police have recorded an offence of theft and enquiries are ongoing."

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