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Art fans line up to raise funds for boy suffering with cancer

PUBLISHED: 15:24 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:13 03 September 2018

Henry's Odyssey art sale at Mandells Gallery in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Henry's Odyssey art sale at Mandells Gallery in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A fundraising exhibition in Norwich to send a nine- year-old boy with cancer to Legoland has raised over £7,500.

People queued down the street to support the exhibition at Mandell Gallery on Elm Hill, which will split the money between charity Chidren with Cancer UK and the end of treatment celebration.

More than 370 original art works were donated to the exhibition by artists across the globe, including eminent figures such as Maggi Hambling and Norwich pop artist Colin Self.

Each piece was sold anonymously and for the identical price of £40, giving shrewd buyers the chance to scoop a bargain.

The event was organised by Sarah Cannell, mother to nine-year-old Henry, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia two years ago.

Henry's Odyssey art sale at Mandells Gallery in Norwich. Henry Thomas.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYHenry's Odyssey art sale at Mandells Gallery in Norwich. Henry Thomas. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Ms Cannell gave up her job as an artist and curator when Henry received his diagnosis and said for the past two years family life had been put on hold. Now she is hoping that half the money raised by the Henry’s Odyssey exhibition will allow them to visit Legoland in Denmark when Henry’s treatment completes in March.

Henry said “I want to go to Legoland because I love building stuff with lego-. Its really exciting to think about.”

Also on display were Henry’s “bravery beads”, a string of more than 450 different beads, each representing a treatment or procedure.

He added: “Next week I have to have a lumbar puncture. I’m not too worried because I will be in a magic sleep from the anaesthetic but I’m not allowed food for a long time before which isn’t good.”

Henry's Odyssey art sale at Mandells Gallery in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYHenry's Odyssey art sale at Mandells Gallery in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Henry wants to donate the other half of the money raised to Children With Cancer UK to support the research the charity does into improving the treatment for other children.

He added: “When I finish my treatment I get to ring the [charity End of Treatment Bells] bell at the hospital and invite my family and friends to see it. It means my treatment is over and we can celebrate.”

Ms Cannell said that although Henry’s illness had been tough, she had not had time to think about it. Last year she gave talks to junior doctors to improve the way they relate to children with cancer.

She added: “If we can do this, we can do anything.”

Henry's Odyssey art sale at Mandells Gallery in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYHenry's Odyssey art sale at Mandells Gallery in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Donate by going to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/henrysodyssey

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