A TWO-YEAR-old boy is facing a long battle with cancer.

Doctors told little George Pannell’s parents that he has a 50 per cent chance of survival after being diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastoma.

The cancer has spread to his spine, leg bones, pelvis, rib cage and skull.

Doctors believe the toddler’s fight against the disease could go on for two years.

The Argus:

Nevertheless, “fighter” George is doing well, said his devoted mother Roxanne Pannell.

The 34-year-old said: “He’s this tiny little dot with a big personality, he’s the friendliest, funniest, most sociable.

“He is always happy and full of energy and so to see him get sick and to change so much was really difficult.

“The only thing he struggles with is when he knows that he is about to have things done.

“He becomes hysterical and so they have to sedate him, otherwise he is shaking with fear.

The Argus:

“That is the only horrible thing at the moment.”

Roxanne, who lives with her family in Rustington, described the moment “superstar” George became ill.

She said: “We found him hunched over the sofa and just crying, I tried to stand him up, but he couldn’t stand and was crying in pain”

After several hospital visits, doctors believed the illness was being caused by fluid on his hip.

However, his symptoms persisted after an operation was performed to clear the fluid.

The Argus:

“The phone rang and the doctors asked for both of us to come in, we knew straight away,” Roxanne said.

“We just knew, knowing our awful luck – it was neuroblastoma cancer which is cancer of the nerve endings.”

The couple were given the diagnosis in the same week Roxanne’s husband Darren, George’s father, was given the all clear for his own cancer.

Darren, 32, had bowel cancer.

Now George is facing 70 days of chemotherapy, surgeries, radiotherapy and then immunotherapy for another one or two years.

The Argus:

During this time, he is going to need many more scans operations and biopsy.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the toddler can only see one parent at a time.

Because of this, Roxanne and Darren spend time with him on alternative weeks.

To make matters worse, they are having to travel to and from Southampton Hospital – but neither can drive and they have four other children to support.

Despite all this, brave George and his parents are keeping their heads held high.

“My son is doing so well and is so happy, so it’s hard to feel down,” said Roxanne.

She said she has been astounded by the support of the Rustington community, which has rallied around the family.

A birthday cake and balloons are being donated for George’s birthday in July.

And a Facebook page detailing his progress, called Superstar George’s fight, has been set up.

A fundraiser for the family can be found here