Devante Uriah Andre Beckford

Devante Signature Cap
A Son, Brother, Uncle, Friend, Nephew, Cousin, Grandson...."The Special One"

We have set up ‘Dee trust’ in memory of our son, to raise money to provide awareness and help contribute towards more research into Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer.
We decided to put this ‘trust’ together during the weeks following his passing. The process of achieving this has helped to provide some comfort and achieve something positive, which allows Dee’s memory to live on.

Devante Uriah Andre Beckford was born on 29th May 2000 @ 10.47pm weighing 5.12oz @ Birmingham Women’s Hospital. He was a healthy, lively bundle of joy. I cannot recall the exact date but around Christmas 2010 Dee started complaining about pains in his legs, as the simple task of walking up and down the stairs was becoming unbearable.
He was a very active boy who attended and enjoyed participating at school band regularly took part in extra curriculum activities such as karate, football, swimming and such activities alike. I had become his personal taxi service to get him around.

I noticed, Dee no longer seemed interested and started to feel tired a lot, especially after school. I took him to see our GP who indicated that it was probably growing pains as he was a tall lad for his age. She referred him to hospital for an x-ray but nothing was found.
As weeks went on Dee continued to complain and by now he was finding it difficult to ride his bike to and from school.

On the 11th April 2011, we went to a memorial service in Manchester and throughout the journey he was finding it difficult to keep still as he couldn’t get comfortable on the seat. When we stopped at the service station instead of using the loo or grabbing a bite to eat he spent the 20minutes paying to sit on a massage chair.
As soon as we returned to Birmingham I took him straight to the walk-in-centre and was told that he had probably pulled a muscle and they prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine.

At the end of that week the course had finished but there was no improvement. Dee didn’t fancy dinner and had gone up to bed early. A few hours later he came into my bedroom and for the first time he was crying with pain. I knew something was wrong so I drove him to Heartlands Accident and Emergency, in Birmingham.
Throughout the night we waited, Dee couldn’t sleep or even lie down as he couldn’t get comfortable. He was x-rayed, seen by a bone specialist and nothing was found so they were prepared to send us home with another course of medication. However, I refused {call it a mothers intuition} and a concerned nurse who had seen us when we first arrived suggested that a urine test be done.

His urine showed traces of blood and was sent to the lab for tests. The hours of waiting were hell and the feeling of anxiety grew as time passed. The results came back by midafternoon confirming that Dee had cancer. Being told this was too overwhelming, I was shocked with disbelief, and confused as there was a lot to take in.
Dee was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where they carried out tests, scans and investigations to find out exactly what type of cancer he had and if it had spread within his body.

On the 23rd April it was confirmed as Neuroblastoma and we had the heartbreaking task of discussing it with Dee. We discussed what we were going to have to face in the near future and although for many this would have been daunting situation, Dees outlook on life was always optimistic and he became a much stronger and positive person as his only response was ‘cancer can be cured.’
Whilst in hospital he was often tired and weak from the treatment and therefore spent most of his time lying flat on his back in bed. His favourite part of the ward was the Teenager Cancer Trust (TCT) as it was designed for older children and although it was for ages 13+ the staff would accommodate him so he would have some peace and quiet away from the noise of younger patients.

Dee came into contact with several people as well as numerous organisations offering support from Macmillan nurses, social workers, school teachers and youth workers. Albeit, he had older siblings he was the only child at home therefore Dee was used to having his privacy and own space so one of the hardest things for him was interacting with other people, he even refused for the nurses to bed bath him or assist him in the bathroom as he was shy and embarrassed but their patience and understanding was phenomenal.
Needless to say, he spent a lot of time in hospital however hospital meals were a ‘no no’ so it had to be home cooking or his favourite take away Kfc.

When he was well enough and able to come home he was determined to carry on as normal. He undertook his SAT exams at home and passed with flying colours. He had home tutoring for a while but he didn’t enjoy it so whenever it was possible he attended school even though he was unable to participate in all subjects.
He continued to do all the things that he enjoyed, going to the cinema, ice skating, go-karting, theme parks, or simply talking to friends via social networks like Facebook, bbm, and x-box.

His philosophy, ‘Why live a little when you can live a lot`.

RIP Devante 05/10/12

the Trustees