CHILDREN are capable of far more than many realise.

Aged just three, little Nellie-Rose Culleton, has completed ten weeks of chemotherapy and undergone six hours of major surgery to remove a huge 15cm by 12cm tumour.

Although she faces major trials ahead, she has bounced back.

Her aunt Jessica Rees, 36, said: “After six hours in surgery, she spent four days in intensive care, but then straight away she was up and asking for food.

“She is just incredible, her mum sent me a video of her the other day and she was dancing around the ward. It is inspiring.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • Nellie-Rose Culleton has a rare neuroblastoma

Nellie underwent tests after she started experiencing pains when walking.

Doctors found the large tumour attached to her adrenal gland and Nellie was diagnosed with the rare neuroblastoma, which afflicts about 100 children per year in the UK.

Jessica, who lives in Mile End, Colchester, said: “In one horrible way, it is perhaps almost better to have it when you are younger as you can’t process it the same way in your mind, you don’t know the significance.”

After the course of chemotherapy, the tumour shrunk enough that surgeons felt they could attempt removal.

They successfully cut away 98 per cent of the growth, but Nellie’s fight is far from over.

She was readmitted to hospital last week and is set to undergo two courses of high dosage chemotherapy.

“It is very difficult to go through such a treatment at that age, they don’t know how she is going to come out of it - after that she will undergo radiotherapy and immunotherapy once in remission,” said Jessica.

“The relapse rate is then between 40 and 50 per cent.”

Inspired by his close cousin’s bravery and determination in the face of such odds, Jessica’s son Alfie, 13, will cycle almost 1,000km with his stepfather David, 47, in an attempt to raise the necessary funds to get Nellie to America for specialist treatment.

“There is only so much the NHS can do as the relapse rate is so high, so she needs that extra treatment in the US,” said Jessica.

“They are really close, so as soon as he found out about this he wanted to do something to help.

“As our holiday to Spain couldn’t go ahead this year, he decided to complete the distance from the northern coast to southern coast.

“He has been cycling from Colchester to Wivenhoe and to Brightlingsea, tracking each ride.

“Alfie has completed about 100km, so he still has another 870km to go, but he loves it.”

Alfie’s efforts have attracted the attention of his favourite Colchester United star Cohen Bramall, who donated a pair of signed football boots to be auctioned off for the cause.

As huge U’s fans, the family messaged Bramall with information on Alfie’s bicycle ride.

Jessica said: “He told us he lived just around the corner, so he would stop off to see Alfie and donate a pair of signed boots.

“It was just unbelievable, I’ve never seen Alfie get dressed and ready so fast before.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • U's star Cohen Bramall with Alfie

Alfie is also receiving help from his school, Ormiston Sudbury Academy, and his football team, Stanway Pegasus.

He said: “Her infectious personality brings joy and happiness to everyone around her and despite all she is going through, she continues to always have a smile on her face.”

To donate to the cause, search Alfie’s virtual Spanish bike ride for Nellie at