A family have hailed the courage of a boy who has been undergoing gruelling treatment after being diagnosed with a rare cancer. 

In November 2022, eight-year-old Archie Shaen-Carter, from East Harling, was taken for an eye test after complaining of headaches at school. 

His mum, Sadie, didn't worry too much about it at the time, thinking Archie probably needed glasses or had developed migraines like his identical twin Monty.

Eastern Daily Press: The Shaen-Carter family (l-r) Sadie, Monty, Archie and Marc The Shaen-Carter family (l-r) Sadie, Monty, Archie and Marc (Image: Supplied)

The eye test, however, revealed unusually swollen optic nerves and Archie was sent for an urgent MRI scan. 

No tumours were found in the scan but the optic nerves remained swollen and doctors were unsure of the cause. 

After many scans and lumbar punctures, Archie had a shunt fitted in his brain to help relieve the pressure. 

Despite an initial improvement, he quickly deteriorated, throwing up more regularly and struggling with balance and tiredness.

Eastern Daily Press: Archie during a hospital stayArchie during a hospital stay (Image: Supplied)

The headaches were getting worse, and after he started losing vision in his right eye he was sent for a scan at Addenbrooke's Hospital's specialist neurological centre.

There the doctors found inflammation around his brain, and a biopsy confirmed it was cancer in the form of a medulloblastoma brain tumour.

"Our world absolutely broke hearing it was cancer," Mrs Shaen-Carter said. 

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In a rare presentation of the cancer, Archie didn't have a tumour, but the cells had spread throughout his brain. 

Eligible for a clinical trial of high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue, Archie spent five weeks in hospital, including over Christmas and his birthday, confined to his room and unable to see his twin due to the risk of infection.

Eastern Daily Press: Identical twins Archie and Monty have missed each other a lot during Archie's treatmentIdentical twins Archie and Monty have missed each other a lot during Archie's treatment (Image: Supplied)

His mum stayed with him during the week, and his dad, Marc, who runs his own business, stayed during weekends. 

Mrs Shaen-Carter added: "It’s been devastating seeing him having to go through all of the treatment.

"He’s absolutely amazing - he doesn’t moan, he just gets on with it and we’re so proud of how he's coped.

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"He struggled with the overnight stays due to missing home and his brother - they’re inseparable because they’re identical twins

"It’s been a difficult journey, but we’ve all rallied around and stuck together."

Archie has reacted well to treatment and three weeks ago had his first clear MRI scan.

He will continue with oral chemotherapy for five more months, which his mum administers at home, reducing hospital visits.

Eastern Daily Press: Archie with University College London Hospitals medical staff Archie with University College London Hospitals medical staff (Image: Supplied)

"We are beyond happy and sobbed with tears of joy," said Mrs Shaen-Carter.

"We’ve got an incredible network of people and we've been overwhelmed with how generous and kind people have been."

Loved ones helped the family by setting up a GoFundMe page called Archie's Avengers after his love of the Marvel characters. 

One friend of the family, Alison Seymour, hosted fundraising quiz and bingo nights and has now set up a Norwich City FC merchandise raffle.

A cancer survivor herself, the family had supported her when she had cancer and she wanted to give something back.

Eastern Daily Press: The items that are up for grabs in the raffleThe items that are up for grabs in the raffle (Image: Alison Hoyte)

The raffle, which went live today, will be drawn on June 28 and costs £5 to enter.

There are 34 items up for grabs including boots and goalkeeper gloves signed by Ben Gibson and Angus Gunn, as well as an England Shirt and boots signed by Lauren Hemp.

Mrs Seymour is also organising a concert called Archie's Anthems on July 13 to raise funds for a special suprise trip for the family.

Twelve local bands will play in Archie's honour at East Harling Sports and Social Club between midday and 10pm.

Eastern Daily Press: The promotional poster for Archie's AnthemsThe promotional poster for Archie's Anthems (Image: Archie's Anthems)

There will also be various stalls, including food and children's entertainment. 

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Alison said: "Archie is so courageous and I will do anything to make this brave little boy smile. 

"I want him to be able to make some special memories.

"His family have been through so much, it’s the least I can do!"