Give a Hug: Birmingham family supports new Children with Cancer UK campaign


Jack Bourne, from Kings Heath in Birmingham was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumour, in March 2023 when he was just six years old.

Jack and his mum Suzanna feature in a brand-new awareness campaign from leading childhood cancer charity, Children with Cancer UK, which launches on the 1 September to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which runs throughout September.

The charity’s new ‘give a hug’ campaign highlights the importance of this simple gesture. Whether it’s from friends or family, a big squeeze or a small cuddle, the charity’s moving campaign film shows how this wordless gesture can say so much; to help everyone feel loved and supported during the difficult and emotional journey of cancer treatment, and to let them know that they are not alone.

Jack’s mum Suzanna says:

We’re proud to support this new awareness campaign from Children with Cancer UK. No child should have to receive a cancer diagnosis and we hope that the campaign will help increase awareness and understanding of childhood cancer, and raise vital funding to support other young patients and their families who are fighting this devastating disease.

After noticing some unusual symptoms in Jack, including vomiting and difficulty walking, Suzanna took him to their family GP where he was referred to their local hospital for tests. An MRI scan detected a tumour between Jack’s skull and the top of his spine and he underwent immediate surgery.

Following the surgery, Jack began a course of treatment including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. His chemotherapy will continue every three weeks for the next nine months, after which he’ll have another MRI scan to monitor the tumour.

Jack’s mum Suzanna says:

After Jack’s initial surgery, he wasn’t able to speak for seven weeks. This is a common side effect of posterior fossa syndrome, which can occur after surgery and it takes children different lengths of time to recover. When his speech returned, the first word Jack said was “mum” which was incredibly emotional for me. Jack continues to have limited mobility and will remain in hospital as an in-patient for the remainder of his treatment.

Jack’s diagnosis all happened so quickly and it’s incredibly hard to process. But today, we’re just taking each day as it comes. Jack is so cheeky and doesn’t stop talking now! He always gets involved with playing and loves to paint with his best friend Chloe on the ward.

Jack’s diagnosis all happened so quickly and it’s incredibly hard to process. But today, we’re just taking each day as it comes. Jack is so cheeky and doesn’t stop talking now! He always gets involved with playing and loves to paint with his best friend Chloe on the ward.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM), an international awareness campaign which aims to increase understanding of childhood cancer. During the month, charities, science and healthcare organisations, patients and families come together to raise awareness, fundraise and advocate for new scientific research into childhood cancer.

Medulloblastoma is the most common, malignant, childhood brain tumour that develops in the posterior fossa. Growths here can inhibit the cerebellum, which controls movement and balance in patients. Medulloblastomas account for 15% to 20% of all childhood brain tumours and more than 70% of cases occur in children under the age of 10.

Children with Cancer UK is one of the leading national children’s charities working towards a world where every child survives cancer.

Jo Elvin, CEO at Children with Cancer UK, said:

We’d like to thank Jack’s family for sharing their story in support of our new awareness campaign this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and helping us to increase understanding of the disease, and the profound impact it can have on young people and their families.

Our new ‘give a hug’ awareness campaign highlights the little moments that can make a big difference in a child’s cancer journey, and the warmth, love and reassurance that can be given by a simple hug from a loved one. We’ll be revealing more details about our new campaign throughout CCAM, including a special surprise which we hope will help bring some joy and excitement for cancer patients and their families.

Survival rates for children’s cancers are improving. Fifty years ago, three-quarters of children diagnosed with cancer died; today more than 8 in 10 children diagnosed with cancer in the UK survive. However, around 4,200 children and young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK, and cancer is one of the leading causes of death for young people.

To watch the charity’s new ‘Hug’ campaign film, visit Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2023 | Children with Cancer UK.

Press Enquiries:

 For all press enquiries, please contact Rewired PR: 

  • Ruth Pipkin                   07894 556614
  • Grace Coniry                07544 866384

Notes to Editors:

About Children with Cancer UK: 

Children with Cancer UK is a leading children’s cancer charity dedicated to raising and investing funds into vital specialist research to save the lives of children and young people with cancer. Our mission is to improve survival rates and the quality of survival in young patients, and to find ways to prevent cancer in the future. Whilst working towards this, Children with Cancer UK funds support for children and their families as they navigate treatment. What began as a small memorial charity in 1988, has evolved into a major force raising more than £300 million and investing in over 200 pioneering research projects. 

Read other stories

Newsletter icon
Newsletter icon

Sign up to our e-newsletter today

Sign up to our e-newsletter and receive exclusive stories straight to your inbox. You will also find out about our latest childhood cancer research news along with updates on our fundraising events, charity news and opportunities to support us. Don’t miss out!

By signing up to this newsletter I agree to receive general and financial appeal emails from Children with Cancer UK