New Year milestone for 'little warrior' from Leeds after cancer fight

The mother of a seven-year-old Leeds boy who fought for life after being struck down with childhood cancer said 2021 is set to be a milestone year for her family.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 31st December 2020, 9:02 am
Sophie Hoult with son Riley pictured on December 22 2020. Photo: James Hardisty

Sophie Hoult of Belle Isle said her son Riley will have been in remission for five years in March 2021.

Riley underwent 70 days of chemotherapy treatment at Leeds General Infirmary after the neuroblastoma diagnosis when he was 21 months old in November 2014.

Further intensive chemotherapy followed in April 2015 when Riley also underwent a stem cell transplant.

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Riley Hoult pictured with mum Sophie in December 2018

He spent nine weeks in hospital and was transferred to the intensive care unit at LGI after suffering a life-threatening infection.

Riley, who also underwent radiotherapy and immunotherapy treatment, has been in remission since March 2016.

Sophie said Riley has been having reviews every four to six months, but they will be changed to annual reviews from March.

Sophie said: "In March 2021 he is going to be five years cancer free, which is classed as full remission.

Riley Hoult pictured aged two in July 2015 with mum mum Sophie Hoult Picture by Simon Hulme

"I feel really relieved, but because of Covid we can't celebrate like I had planned. I'm hoping that in 2021 we can throw a party for him to celebrate.

"It has been an emotional journey. Riley is amazing, he is really strong and takes everything on the chin.

"He has been through a lot, he is a little warrior."

Sophie wept tears of joy when Riley started his first day at Middleton Sharp Lane Primary School in September 2017

Riley Hoult pictured in hospital in February 2015.

She said at the time: “I was fine dropping him off, but when I got home I had a cry. I was so happy for him because he is at school and he is having a normal life now.

“He is brave and strong and is an inspiration to a lot of children out there who are going through the same thing."

Miss Hoult shared Riley’s cancer fight story on social media sites in a bid to raise awareness of neuroblastoma.

In December 2014, TV personality Kim Kardashian sent Riley a message of support on Twitter, writing: “I’m praying for you little man.”

Riley Hoult pictured aged 21 months in December 2014 with mum Sophie.

In February 2015, West Yorkshire Police launched an investigation after Twitter trolls mocked Riley as he fought the disease.

Sophie had set up Twitter accounts in Riley’s name on Facebook and Twitter to share her son’s cancer fight story in a bid to raise awareness of neuroblastoma.

She was disgusted when another Twitter account was set up using a photograph of Riley before posting tweets 'cancer is funny because people die.’

Miss Hoult later received upsetting tweets mocking her son’s appearance from another Twitter account.

Both accounts were closed down by Twitter.