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International artists pull together to treat Norfolk boy with Leukemia

PUBLISHED: 09:30 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:09 15 August 2018

Henry at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Photo: Sarah Cannell

Henry at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Photo: Sarah Cannell

Sarah Cannell

More than 300 artists from all over the world have donated works to raise money to send a nine-year-old with Leukemia to Legoland Denmark as an 'end of treatment adventure'.

Henry at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Photo: Sarah CannellHenry at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Photo: Sarah Cannell

Henry was diagnosed with acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2016 aged just seven.

His mother Sarah Cannell, from Raveningham, near Beccles, is hoping money raised by the “Henry’s Odyssey” exhibition of postcard sized artworks will allow him to fulfil his dream of visiting Legoland in Denmark, as well as helping other children affected by cancer through charity Childhood Cancer UK.

The joints in Henry’s hands were weakened as a result of chemotherapy and playing with lego was a fun way to keep them strong.

He hopes that by raising money for research, other children can access less aggressive treatment.

One of the artworks donated to Henry's Odyssey, 'Lets Fly A Kite' by Dee Nickerson. Photo: Sarah CannellOne of the artworks donated to Henry's Odyssey, 'Lets Fly A Kite' by Dee Nickerson. Photo: Sarah Cannell

He said: “I hope we can raise lots of money for the scientists to make the medicine less horrible for other children with Leukemia.”

Although he still has eight months of gruelling treatment to go, his family are positive that when it is over Henry will be able to move on with his life.

Mrs Cannell, a Norfolk based artist and curator, has been thrilled by the response to Henry’s Odyssey.

She said: “Caring for a child with cancer is an extremely isolating experience and the response of artist friends and colleagues to Henry’s Odyssey has filled my heart with joy and made us feel connected to lots of lovely people.”

One of the artworks donated to Henry's Odyssey, 'Galleon' by Amelia Bowman. Photo: Sarah CannellOne of the artworks donated to Henry's Odyssey, 'Galleon' by Amelia Bowman. Photo: Sarah Cannell

Each piece of original artwork will be sold at £40, with an added twist - no artist names will be displayed on the works.

This lucky dip system means art enthusiasts could pick up a serious bargain if they choose a piece by one of the many internationally famous artists that have contributed.

Work by Susan Gunn, winner of the European Sovereign Painting Prize and wife of Bryan Gunn will be featured, as well as Tate Britain artist Colin Self. All proceeds raised will be split equally between Henry’s treat fund and charity Childhood Cancer UK.

The charity invests more than £4m a year in research across a range of childhood cancers and are committed to improving both survival rates and quality of life for children suffering from the disease.

The exhibition will take place at Mandells Gallery on Elm Hill from August 29 to September 1, 2018.

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