Wigan family's tributes to their "inspirational" four-year-old after he loses cancer battle

A family have paid tribute to their “inspirational” little boy after he lost a long and brave battle with cancer.

Four-year old Link Simpson from Leigh, has been described as an incredible youngster who touched the hearts of everybody he met.

He is survived by his mum Clare, dad Brad and sisters Sophie, seven and Millie, nine.

Brad said: “Link adored life and everything associated with it.

Link Simpson

"He was inquisitive, cheeky and a friend to everybody. He loved talking to people, if you didn’t say hello to him, he would tap you on the shoulder and say ‘my name’s Link what’s your name?’

"Link was an absolute bundle of joy. He unfortunately didn’t live the life of a normal four-year-old.”

Link was just 20 months old when he was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma in October 2019 after developing a lump in his right leg.

He went through two and a half years’ treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

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Link's logo with forever four

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But his fight became an inspiration to so many people. Brad said: “It took us several months to get a diagnosis for Link’s condition.

"Unfortunately he only had one birthday where he didn’t have the disease.

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"Link went through 33 rounds of radiotherapy and had over 26 months of active chemotherapy.

Link, centre with his sisters Sophie, seven and Millie, nine

"He finished mainline treatment in April last year but he relapsed in May, along with a further relapse in December just before Christmas.

"Link also underwent a medical trial at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London in the hope we would find a medicine that would help him.

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"At the beginning of March we as a family made the decision that his body had been through too much and we would look at alternatives, but he didn’t have the strength to fight the battle.

"He became an inspiration to other people on our street who were also diagnosed with cancer.

The guard of honour by firefighters from Leigh fire station where Link was made an honorary firefighter

"One woman wasn’t going to undergo treatment, she didn’t feel she was strong enough. But seeing Link running around in our close after having chemotherapy gave her the strength to go through it.

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"She thought if Link can do it why can’t I?”

The family held a small private cremation for Link on May 3, where he received a guard of honour from firefighters at Leigh fire station.

There are plans for a celebration of Link’s life to be held at Parklee Community Primary School in Atherton, where his two sisters go and also where Link attended nursery.

The family want it to be a party and full of colour.

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Brad added: “It was a very different funeral. Link didn’t have a hearse or a coffin, we didn’t want him to have one.

"We held him throughout and then we placed him prior to cremation. We didn’t want the association he had passed.

"We didn’t want the traditional funeral with doom and gloom.

"We wanted to grieve and share stories among colour and balloons.

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"We don’t have an end date for his life. We use the term ‘Link Simpson forever four’ with a red heart and blue heart as they were his symbols.

"He was made an honorary firefighter at Leigh, who turned out at the service, which shows how he had a lasting impression.

"We want his celebration to be a party atmosphere filled with colour and dancing.”