Cancer Stories, neuroblastoma

Riley’s Cancer Story

Many cancer journeys, involve multiple types of treatment, each having various ways of targeting the cancer cells and tumours.

Riley’s mother, Sophie Hoult, takes us through his extensive treatment plan, and how scary the side effects can be.  Riley is now 19 months into remission.

007 Riley (5)

Name: Riley Hoult

Age at diagnosis: 21 Months Old

Diagnosis: Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma

Additional info: Now, 19 Months into Remission. Riley is now suffering from the effects of the treatments, physical development and speech are delayed, slightly deaf in his right ear, dental issues and high dose chemotherapy has caused bowel issues.

Riley was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma, on the 28th of November 2014.

Before Riley was diagnosed, I took him to our GP twice and was told it was an eye infection, but Riley’s right eye got worse and formed a lump. I took him to A&E where they told me it was a cyst at Leeds LGI. He stayed in hospital for 3 days on IV fluids and we were sent home, with an appointment booked for the next day, at the eye clinic at St. James’s. As soon as we saw the eye specialist, he said Riley needs an urgent MRI, this was 27th of November.

Riley had the MRI that evening, this was the first time that Riley was put to sleep. The first time I had felt like my world was crashing down around me, even though I didn’t know what they were going to find, I knew something just wasn’t right. We had to stay in hospital that night on another ward.

The following morning, November 28th, I was taken into a room with Riley and our nurse for the day, the doctor sat down in front of me and told me ‘we’ve found a lump, it’s a tumor…. it’s cancer but we don’t know which type yet’ I burst into tears and all I said was ‘Is he going to die?’ I was only 20 years old, so to deal with something like this was a whole new world for me and something I honestly didn’t think I’d ever experience. The following day, the lump underneath his eye was removed, it was cancer. More tests were done, a Hickman line was fitted and Riley looked like a totally different child. Later that day, it was confirmed Riley had stage 4 neuroblastoma.

On the 4th of December, Riley had his first day of chemotherapy. This was the first of seven in his cycle.

On the 23rd of February 2015, Riley’s bone marrow was clear.

On the 8th of march 2015, Riley had a successful operation, that lasted just over 5 hours, which saw the removal of his main tumour in his abdomen and his adrenal gland.

In April 2015, riley had a stem cell harvest, followed by high dose chemotherapy. Riley had no immune system at all. On the 16th of April he had his stem cell transplant, this caused so many problems. Riley ended up in intensive care fighting for his life with sepsis, his blood pressure was low, and he needed oxygen, he couldn’t eat or drink as his mouth had extremely bad mucositis.

Riley stayed on the bone marrow unit for 9 weeks, after this Riley had more clear scan results. He was able to start radiotherapy in June 2015. He had 15 sessions in total, this for Riley and myself was the easiest to deal with, of all the treatments.

In September 2015, riley started his final treatments, antibody treatment and immunotherapy, once again, this made Riley very poorly, his blood sugar was low and he had fits.

In March 2016, Riley was put into remission!!!! The proudest day of our families life!

Treatment Plan:

7 cycles of chemotherapy.

1 operation.

Stem cell harvest.

High dose chemotherapy.

Stem cell transplant.



Antibody treatment.

Learn more about Riley on his Facebook page:

Riley’s Journey


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