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Penticton  

'Thrilled to be home'

After months of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery at Vancouver Children's Hospital, 7-year-old Wills Hodgkins is finally home and couldn't be happier about it. 

"When we drove into town he asked 'Mommy, is it okay if I cry because I'm really emotional,'" his mother, Neeley Brimer, said. 

Wills was diagnosed with a rare kind of kidney cancer in January, and it's been a long hard fight. 

"He's doing good, he's having a lot of body pain from the chemo so when people see him right now he doesn't necessarily look awesome, but that's not indicative of how he's feeling,'" Brimer said. "If you asked him how he feels, he's going to tell you that he feels great."

Wills had surgery on May 9 to remove cancerous tumours. According to Brimer, the surgery was potentially very invasive, with the possibility that parts of multiple organs would need to be removed. Luckily, everything went smoothly. 

"The tumours had completely come away from all of the organs, it was a completely clean sweep," Brimer said. "The chemo had done its job and shrunk the tumours to the point where they weren't affecting the other organs."

Now home in Penticton, Wills went back to school on Tuesday. His teacher said he's doing well and having a blast being back in the classroom, despite having some mobility and pain issues and being confined to a wheelchair.

In four more weeks, they will get the next set of scans to see how Wills' lungs are doing. 

"As far as we know, the kidney is cleaned up, and we just have to worry about his lungs now," Brimer said. 

Wills still has 16 weeks of chemo ahead of him, but the family is thinking positively.

"He's just ready for his body to start cooperating again so he can play soccer and all that kind of stuff," Brimer said. "Overall, we've just had a ton of great news and we're really, really excited about it."

Two large community fundraisers for Wills' family were held earlier this year. 



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