‘He cast his magic over this entire village’ - ten-year-old dies after cancer battle

A JustGiving page set up to fund treatment for Charlie Stephenson raised some £150,000. Picture: Sub

A JustGiving page set up to fund treatment for Charlie Stephenson raised some £150,000. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A ten-year-old boy who captured the heart of his community as well-wishers rallied to raise money for his cancer treatment has died.

Charlie Stephenson, nine, who has been diagnosed with a rare brain tumour, with his mum, Soeli, and

Charlie Stephenson, nine, who has been diagnosed with a rare brain tumour, with his mum, Soeli, and dad, Tony, from Martham. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Charlie Stephenson's home village of Martham became a mass of red ribbons and bunting in a show of support which saw hundreds of people donate to the appeal supported by Suffolk singer Ed Sheeran.A post on the Charlie Stephenson Fundraiser page on Facebook announcing his death read: "The love and support each and every one of you has shown over the past 20 weeks, has been more amazing than we could ever put into words.

"With shattered hearts we wanted to tell you all that on Friday Charlie gained his angel wings.

"We love you all and thank you so much for everything you have all done.

"No more yucky medicine, no more wires and tubes, no more pain.

"Charlie, forever loved, go and run and play now, love you always our little boy."

Charlie was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in February after undergoing tests on what his parents Soeli and Tony Stephenson thought was a lazy eye.The condition, called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), affects people's eyesight, mobility and communication as the tumour grows.

In order to prolong Charlie's life, his family hoped to raise £125,000 for treatment which is not available on the NHS involving a type of chemotherapy.

Following the announcement hundreds of people took to social media to share their heartbreak.

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Terry Myers said: "I have never met Charlie but this has brought me to tears.

"The whole village came together to fight for this little boy which is probably one of the most amazing and beautiful things I have ever known.

"I'm sorry you have had to experience this pain and you are in my family's thoughts."

And Jane Janusz said: "Your son will always be remembered for the way he has bought this village together, long may his legacy last."

Michael Newton, reacting to the Facebook post, said: "That news absolutely shook me to the core. No words can express my sorrow, actually tears fell from my eyes. Charlie play in heaven and wait for us all."

Another, Sarah Amis, described Charlie as "a very special little man that had cast his magic over this entire village" remembering his beaming smile and happy nature.

Steven Sivyer, rector at Martham Parish Church, has written a prayer for the community about Charlie and a book of condolence has been opened.

People can write in Charlie's book and light a candle on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday July 9,10,11, from 8.20am to 4.15pm, Thursday July 11, 8.20am to 2pm, and 6pm to 8pm and on Saturday July 13, 10am to 4pm.