Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

'Wee' Oscar Knox dies after battle against childhood cancer neuroblastoma

Book of Condolence: To leave your messages of sympathy to little Oscar's family please use the comment box below

Personal trainer Danielle Johnston who received death threats  over her Facebook post
Personal trainer Danielle Johnston who received death threats over her Facebook post
Lanterns were released across Belfast to remember Oscar Knox. Pic Twitter
Lanterns were released across Belfast to remember Oscar Knox. Pic Twitter
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Lanterns were released across Belfast to remember Oscar Knox. Pic Twitter
Monday 1st July 2013 - Oscar Knox took over the offices of First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Parliament Buildings
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Derry City fans pay tribute to Oscar Knox during the team's match against Shamrock Rovers, Friday May 9, 2014
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Pic Declan Roughan/Presseye
Oscar Knox pictured with mum Leona and sister Izzie
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Sunday Life Spirit Of Northern Ireland overall winner Oscar Knox with Olympic Boxer Paddy Barnes at the awards dinner in the Culloden Hotel Holywood Friday 14th June 2013
Celtic v Cliftonville, Champions League second qualifying round second leg - 23 July 2013. Oscar Knox with Celtic skipper Scott Brown ahead of the Celtic v Cliftonville match
The service for little Oscar Knox was held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley. The procession started from the NI Children's Hospice and onwards to St Bernard's Church. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Oscar pictured in 2012 with the flag that made him an overnight internet sensation as he was allowed to stay up late to watch that year's European Championship matches
Oscar Knox being held by his mother Leona in hospital. This photo was posted by Oscar's family on October 13, 2012
Former Celtic player John Hartson and Oscar Knox
March 25, 2013 Little Oscar Know steals the show during a 'FEARLESS' press conference at Belfast City Hall. The event has been put together for the night which will feature Irish title fights with all profits going directly to The Oscar Knox Appeal. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
May 1, 2013 - Oscar Knox pictured at New Forge country club with Ulster Rugby's Paddy McAllister
Sunday Life Spirit Of Northern Ireland over-all winner Oscar Knox at the awards dinner in the Culloden Hotel Holywood, Friday 14th June 2013
Oscar Knox's family posted this photo on Twitter last month, saying: "I got back on my feet and walked 20 metres today, everyone was SO proud of me!"
Oscar Knox and his sister, Izzie, surrounded by Easter eggs.
Oscar Knox, celebrating his fourth birthday
Oscar Knox with his father Stephen at Celtic's Parkhead last year
Leona Knox watches as Oscar opens his presents at Christmas 2012
Close family: Oscar with mum Leona, dad Stephen and sister Izzie
Oscar Knox with Celtic skipper Scott Brown during Tuesday evenings Celtic v Cliftonville Champions League, 2nd qualifying round, 2nd leg match at Parkhead, Glasgow Scotland
Oscar blowing the candle out on his birthday cake with dad Stephen
Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox enjoying a day out in the park
Oscar Knox in hospital from Twitter in October, 2012
Little fighter: Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox arrives home from America via air ambulance
Olympic bronze medalists Paddy Barnes (left) and Michael Conlan at the gala ball in aid of Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox in Philadelphia
Mum Leona and Oscar
Michael Deane with Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox
Sinn Fein Cllr Tierna Cunningham and Belfast Lord Mayor DUP Gavin Robinson with Oscar
Oscar Knox
Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Overall Spirit of NI Winner Wee Oscar Knox Presented by, Martin Breen, Tony McGinn and Britain's Got Talent Finalist Jordan O'Keefe
Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Overall Spirit of NI Winner Wee Oscar Knox Presented by, Martin Breen, Tony McGinn and Britain's Got Talent Finalist Jordan O'Keefe
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Saturday 14th June 2013 - Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Overall Spirit of NI Winner Wee Oscar Knox with his mum Leona
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Saturday 14th June 2013 - Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Julian Simmons, Paddy Barnes & Wee Oscar Knox
Oscar Knox
Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Overall winner Wee Oscar Knox presented by Martin Breen and Britain's Got Talent Finalist Jordan O'Keefe

Little Oscar Knox, the five-year-old whose battle against neuroblastoma captured the hearts and minds of people across the world, has died.

In a tweet this morning, his family said: "Our beautiful amazing and much loved son Oscar James Knox gained his angel wings yest afternoon. Sleep tight little man Xx."

The news comes weeks after Oscar was moved into the care of the Children's Hospice following his two-year battle against the disease.

At that time, the five-year-old's suffering was so great that he told his parents: "I don't want to be a boy anymore."

In the latest update to an online diary documenting Oscar's fight, Leona wrote: "In the past four weeks Oscar has suffered more pain than we could have imagined, and more anguish than any five-year-old should ever know."

She said that she and her husband Stephen had been "pushed to the limit of what any parent could tolerate in terms of watching their child suffer".

JustGiving page in memory of Oscar Knox

The family have asked for privacy in the coming days.

Oscar's funeral, which the family have said will be a "celebration" of his life, will be held in St Bernard's Church, Glengormley, on Sunday.

In a statement, the family said:  "We welcome friends, family and supporters of Oscar to join us in procession from the NI Children's Hospice at 10.15am on May 11 and onwards to St Bernard's Church."

A strictly private cremation will follow.

An appeal by Oscar's family raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the last three years. The campaign won many high-profile friends and memorably Oscar wreaked havoc during a visit to the offices of Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont.

First Minister Peter Robinson said: "I extend my heartfelt sympathies to Leona, Stephen, little Isobella and the entire Knox family on the death of Oscar. My thoughts and prayers are with them all at this profoundly sad time.

“Their sense of loss and devastation is immeasurable. When I met Oscar I was struck by his infinite energy and sense of fun. He had a tremendous capacity to overcome the challenges he and his family faced together.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "Oscar touched the hearts and minds of everyone and inspired countless people through his positive attitude and resilience.

"The day Oscar and his family visited Stormont was one of my most uplifting days in politics and you couldn’t help but be enthused by his vibrancy and spirit."

In a statement today, Celtic Football Club said: "This is absolutely devastating news and our thoughts and prayers are with Oscar's parents, Stephen and Leona, and his little sister, Izzie, at this desperately sad time.

"We can't even begin to understand the pain of their loss, but I hope that there will be a small measure of consolation in knowing that there was genuine love and affection for Oscar from the Celtic Family throughout the world.

"Oscar's courage throughout his illness was truly inspirational, and it was a real pleasure for everyone at the club to meet Oscar when he was our team mascot last July."

Former world champion boxer Barry McGuigan tweeted: "Very sad news to hear of the passing of @Wee_Oscar RIP he fought to the bitter end, what an amazing young boy. Deepest sympathies to family.""

Little Oscar has touched the hearts of people with his brave fight since being diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma – a rare and aggressive childhood cancer – in November 2011.

His parents went public in a bid to raise awareness and funds for Oscar's care.

A huge support campaign was launched, backed by celebrities and sports stars including Belfast Olympic medal-winning boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan.

Since early 2012 Stephen and Leona have kept an online diary of Oscar's fight.

Background

In 2011 Oscar Knox (5), from Mallusk, was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, which affects one in every 100,000 children. He also has the chromosome disorder Jacobsen syndrome, which is thought to affect only 250 children worldwide.

Oscar has received more than 30 blood transfusions and almost 140 platelet transfusions in the past 26 months. Oscar's parents Stephen and Leona run a blog and fundraising campaign, The Wee Oscar Knox Appeal. Around 140,000 people follow Oscar on Facebook and Twitter @Wee_Oscar

Further Reading

Brave Oscar Knox has shown us we can be so much more

Outpouring of support as family pic shows Oscar Knox enjoying Easter 

Little fighter Oscar Knox has captured our hearts with his smile and his indomitable spirit

Oscar Knox family's heartrending ordeal has moved us all 

Wee Oscar makes his Celtic debut

Brave Oscar Knox wins Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Award at star studded ceremony

 

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