Celebrity chef praises Addenbrooke's Hospital for saving baby son's life

  • Watch ITV News Anglia's report by Stuart Leithes

Celebrity Chef Jean Christophe Novelli has praised Addenbrooke's Hospital for saving his baby son's life after he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer. 

Valentino was six weeks old when his mum Michelle found a lump on his

neck during feeding.

An MRI scan revealed he had stage-four neuroblastoma, a rare cancer of nerve cells, which had spread around his body. It usually affects under-fives.

The youngster was referred to Addenbrooke’s straight away where he underwent two years of intense treatment, including chemotherapy.

He is now cancer free.

  • Watch Jean Christophe Novelli's full interview below:

Michelle and I were not really aware of children’s cancers – it was a new area for us, but then you hear the word and it gets locked in your mind, you don’t know what is going to come next. But we have been fortunate and we thank God we live in the UK with the amazing NHS. They were phenomenal. Addenbrooke’s is a place where they give outstanding care. They looked after Valentino so well.

Jean Christophe Novelli
Mum Michelle with baby Valentino. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Luton-based chef is now launching the Cancer Research UK Star awards for children and young people celebrating the courage of children diagnosed with cancer. 

Star Awards poster. Credit: ITV News Anglia

To have something like the Star Awards to recognise the children and their courage when they go through so much – it is fantastic and it all helps with that boost you need as a family. Now we want to help spread the word, so that across Cambridgeshire as many children affected by cancer as possible have the opportunity to be nominated and can receive the acknowledgement they so richly deserve.

Jean-Christophe Novelli

To celebrate the launch of the awards, Jean-Christophe held a special festive cook along with a small group of children who are undergoing or have recently completed treatment.

  • Watch the video below to see how seven-year-old Edith got on with her cook along:

The awards, run in partnership with TX Maxx, are open to all under-18s who have been diagnosed with cancer in the last five years.

You can head to the Cancer Research UK website to nominate a star.

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