Son of former Blackburn Rovers' Tommy Spurr given devastating diagnosis that cancer has spread

27072022 - Chloe and Tommy Spurr with their son, Rio - Granada
Three-year-old Rio Spurr was diagnosed with stage four cancer in April Credit: Lancs Live / MEN Media

The three-year-old son of former Blackburn Rovers footballer Tommy Spurr has been given the heartbreaking news that his cancer has spread.

Rio Spurr, from the Ribble Valley, was diagnosed with stage four cancer in April 2022, after quickly being transferred from Blackburn A&E to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. 

His parents, Tommy and Chloe Spurr, were told the toddler had a large tumour on his right kidney that had spread to his lungs, with a tumour on each.

A few days later, Rio had a Hickman line fitted and a biopsy found that Rio had a rare type of kidney cancer known as Wilms tumour, that only around 80 children are diagnosed with in the UK each year.

Chloe's cousin, Orla said: "It's just been so hard for Chloe, a year before his diagnosis she lost her sister. When they found out about Rio it was the anniversary of her death as well.

"They wanted to keep it quiet at first and not make it such a big deal and were quite reluctant to fundraise too.

"However, both of them aren't working anymore and they nearly had to sell their house.

"Tommy was a footballer but got injured and went to teach but has left that post now and Chloe was self-employed so it's been really hard for them.

"They also have nursery to pay for with their other child, Rudy who is 18 months old and they stay in Manchester a lot for Rio.

"Rudy misses his mum a lot and vice versa, so they benefit with family helping them out by bringing Rudy to nursery and supporting them where we can."

Rio will have to undergo at least another nine months of treatment, with more intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy for his lungs. Credit: Lancs Live / MEN Media

Since April, Rio has been receiving chemotherapy treatment at Manchester Children's Hospital and underwent a four hour surgery to remove the main tumour as well as his right kidney.

However, the nightmare continued for Chloe and Tommy, who has played for Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, as the tumour that was removed ended in results they weren't expecting.

The results came back as unfavourable and high risk, which only a "tiny" percentage of Wilm's tumours fall under.

It means that Rio will have to undergo at least another nine months of treatment, with more intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy for his lungs.

This also means that Rio's chances of survival have decreased too and if he relapses, his chance of survival will be around 10%.

"Rio's consultant told Chloe and Tommy that it might be a good idea for them to start fundraising in case he relapses or they need to seek treatment in another country," Orla continued.

"Myself and Ciara, our other cousin are looking to meet up to discuss what we can do to help them raise money.

"Currently, we're thinking of doing the Pendle Pub Walk, but we're not sure yet. We do know that we want to do something where we can make a day of it and get t-shirts printed.

"If Rio is well enough, we would love for him to be there and involved too."

As a result of Rio's devastating diagnosis and if the cancer returns, the family will not have many options for further treatment as he is currently undergoing strong treatment.

Posting to the Go Fund Me page, Chloe, Rio's mum said: "The money raised so far is nothing short of gob smacking.

"Tom and I are so touched by everyones generosity. Totally & utterly blown away. Family, friends & strangers have shown us so much kindness.

"We really do appreciate it a lot."

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