Health

Teenager with incurable cancer refuses to stop smiling despite spending Christmas in hospital


Teenager with terminal cancer refuses to stop smiling – despite the 17-year-old spending Christmas in hospital and being told he has just MONTHS to live

  • Joseph Lunn, from London, diagnosed with rare and incurable synovial sarcoma
  • Kept in hospital over Christmas after having tumours removed from stomach
  • But the teenager continues to smile despite being given just months to live

A teenager has refused to stop smiling – despite a terminal cancer diagnosis which forced him to stay in hospital over Christmas.

Joseph Lunn was taken to hospital with suspected appendicitis in April, only to be given the devastating news he had synovial sarcoma.

The 17-year-old, from Mitcham, south London, was told the incurable cancer, which affects one-in-a-million people, was slowly killing him.  

Despite enduring seven rounds of gruelling chemotherapy, Joseph continued to live his life as normal as possible.

The teenager still went to school, played cricket and even applied to go to university to study sports physiology. 

But he was forced to put his life on hold and spend Christmas day in hospital after recovering from an operation to remove four tumours from his abdomen. Doctors say he has just months to live. 

Always smiling: Joseph Lunn, 17, suffers from synovial sarcoma, a rare and incurable cancer that has plagued his abdomen

Always smiling: Joseph Lunn, 17, suffers from synovial sarcoma, a rare and incurable cancer that has plagued his abdomen

But despite enduring seven rounds of gruelling chemotherapy, which has resulted in him losing his hair, Joseph continues to live his life as normal as possible

But despite enduring seven rounds of gruelling chemotherapy, which has resulted in him losing his hair, Joseph continues to live his life as normal as possible

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Despite his ordeal, Joseph’s father Dave said the ‘smile has not left his son’s face’. 

Mr Lunn added: ‘We don’t believe the end game is a positive one but his smile is the thing that captures everybody.

‘Him being so positive helps us as parents and his sister massively. People see the way he is behaving and they think what have I got to be down about.

‘He is a young man whose life has been completely turned upside down yet he is still smiling and thinking about other people without feeling sorry for himself.

‘I always say to everyone that Joseph is an incredible young man. He is an inspiration to his peers. I often say to him if I was in his shoes I wouldn’t be as positive.’ 

Mr Lunn said the only time his son became overwhelmed was thinking about how his little sister Amelia, 12, would react to the news. But Joseph was insistent that he wanted to be the one to tell her.

Mr Lunn added: ‘They had lunch together, they watched a film and then he gently told her what is going to happen.

He was forced to spend Christmas day in hospital recovering from an operation to remove four tumours from his abdomen

He was forced to spend Christmas day in hospital recovering from an operation to remove four tumours from his abdomen 

Joseph was unable to enjoy a Christmas dinner because he is being liquid fed following the operation - but his smile did not leave his face

Joseph was unable to enjoy a Christmas dinner because he is being liquid fed following the operation – but his smile did not leave his face

WHAT IS SYNOVIAL SARCOMA?

A type of soft-tissue sarcoma hat begins in the tissues that connect, support and surround other body structures.

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It is a rare cancer that only affects around one in a million people every

The disease starts most commonly in the legs or arms, but it can appear in any part of the body.

It spreads to bones and organs, where it becomes incurable, in half of cases. 

Symptoms vary based on tumor location, and the following symptoms may arise: 

The mass may interfere with bodily functions. 

For example, in the head and neck region, it may cause difficulties swallowing and breathing or it may alter the voice. 

The mass may be painful, in particular if nerves are involved. 

Figures suggest synovial sarcoma strikes just one-in-a-million people. 

‘He spent three or four hours with her. We returned to the house and they were sat on the sofa cuddling.’ 

His family spent the festive period in Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital as Joseph continued his recovery.

Joseph was unable to enjoy a Christmas dinner because he is being liquid fed following the operation.

But the family have promised to cook him one when he recovers and is strong enough to stomach it. 

They recently returned from New York after charity Rays of Sunshine supplied a once in a lifetime trip for Joseph. 

The American Football fan was able to fulfill his dream of watching his favourite team, the New York Giants, in action.

Family friend Caroline Abdelfattah has started a GoFundMe for the family. It has already inspired more than £2,400 in donations.

Mr Lunn added: ‘What Caroline is doing with the fundraising page is remarkable and she messaged us asking could she do it. The support from people has been overwhelming and constant.’

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Joseph is looking forward to returning home in the new year and spending quality time with his friends and family.

To donate to the teen, click here 



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