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Oscar Knox's parents tell of unrelenting grief

Mum in Twitter tribute on second anniversary of youngster's death from rare cancer

By Lisa Smyth

Published 09/05/2016

Wee Oscar Knox with mum Leona
Wee Oscar Knox with mum Leona
Brave: Oscar Knox
Wee Oscar with Leona Knox, and sister Izzie before he lost his battle with cancer
Tragic cancer victim Oscar Knox
The elephant which was decorated with pictures of children, including Oscar, who have bravely coped with cancer
Fighting on: Leona and a treasured family picture with her husband Stephen, Oscar and daughter Izzie
Sadly missed: Oscar Knox

The parents of Oscar Knox have described their ongoing heartache two years after the brave youngster lost his battle with cancer.

Five-year-old Oscar passed away on May 8, 2014, and yesterday his heartbroken mum Leona said she was still overwhelmed by unrelenting grief.

In a touching tribute to her precious son, she wrote on Twitter: "So much love for Oscar today, thank you.

"My heart is still in a million tiny pieces."

Meanwhile, dad Stephen told the Belfast Telegraph: "Whilst we are heartbroken at such a huge loss, we take great comfort from the love and support we still receive - not just at home - but from all over the world.

"Oscar was, and still is, an inspiration to many and we're so proud of all he achieved in his short but incredible life."

The schoolboy from Mallusk, Co Antrim, captured the hearts of people around the world with his incredible spirit as he fought a rare form of cancer.

He was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in November 2011.

Stephen and Leona set up a Twitter account so they could update friends and family on his condition each time he was in hospital.

However, it quickly attracted thousands of followers.

Proud dad: Stephen Knox with his inspirational son Oscar
Proud dad: Stephen Knox with his inspirational son Oscar
Carl Frampton with Oscar’smother Leona Knox

They then launched a fundraising drive to help them cover the cost of taking Oscar to America for a cutting-edge treatment not available in Northern Ireland.

After Oscar's first long and tough battle with his childhood cancer, he was given the all-clear in April 2013.

Sadly, the disease returned in August 2013.

Throughout his battle Oscar amassed a list of famous supporters, including boxing legends Barry McGuigan, Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton, and the Celtic football team.

In July 2013 he was invited to join Celtic on the pitch at Parkhead, acting as the club mascot at its Uefa Champions League qualifying match against Cliftonville.

He also memorably wreaked havoc during a visit to the offices of Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont.

Just a few weeks before he died, his suffering was so great that he told his parents: "I don't want to be a boy any more."

And then in a later Twitter post, 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 had been "pushed to the limit of what any parent could tolerate in terms of watching their child suffer".

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