Coronation Street child star battling cancer

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 19 December 2012
Julia Haworth

Julia Haworth

Former 'Coronation Street' child star Hayden Whitbread - who, along with twin brother Dylan, played Freddie Peacock on the ITV1 soap for three years - is battling cancer

Former 'Coronation Street' child star Hayden Whitbread is battling cancer.

The six-year-old star - who, along with twin brother Dylan, played Freddie Peacock on the ITV1 soap for three years - is currently being treated for a tumour and has lost his hair through bouts of chemotherapy.

However, Hayden - who has a huge scar on his stomach where doctors cut him open to remove the growth - is refusing to let his illness get him down and wears his Manchester City football shirt when he goes for treatment because it makes me feel "brave" like his "hero", England goalkeeper Joe Hart.

And when pals ask him about the scar, he says: "I tell them I've been fighting a shark!"

His parents, Joanne, 41, and Steve, 39, told how he first fell ill while on a family holiday in the summer and were told by doctors Hayden had Wilms Tumour, which strikes children in the kidneys.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Joanne said: "Normally he is on the beach and really happy. But he went quiet and his appetite went.

"When we got back we went to see the doctor, who told us, 'We think he has got a tumour.' The first thing I said was, 'Is he going to die?'"

If detected early, doctors say there is a 90 per cent chance of beating it.

The family have set up a Justgiving fund to raise funds for Manchester Children's Hospital, where Hayden is being treated.

Julia Haworth, who played Hayden's on-screen mum Claire Peacock, was one of the first to donate to the Justgiving fund.

She wrote: "Thinking of you all and sending lots of love and strength. Get well soon Hayden xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

Donate to the fund at www.justgiving.com/supportourward

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