A heartbroken mum has paid tribute to her 'strong, brave and courageous' son who died at the age of 17 following a battle with cancer

Mackenzie Reece, from Bromley Cross, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in November 2020 when he was just 15 years old.

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that usually affects the part of the body’s germ-fighting immune system.

Mackenzie underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

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And over two years and four months he relapsed three times.

This resulted in three more different chemotherapy rounds, three more surgeries, 16 rounds of radiotherapy, two bone marrow transplants, one year of immunotherapy treatment, ECP light treatment, and Ruxolitinib treatment, as well as oral and injectable medications.

Throughout all of this he still attended school when he was able to and passed all of his GCSEs.

Mackenzie’s mum Paula Flanagan says everything Mackenzie went through has had a 'huge emotional impact' on her and the family, and she describes him as ‘their hero’.

She said: “Mackenzie was our hero; a strong brave courageous warrior.

“He loved life and had many plans for the future.

“He was kind, generous, loving, mischievous, and funny; the most loyal friend and the best son I could have ever wished for.

The Bolton News: “Mackenzie is remembered loved and missed every second of every day by all his family and friends.

“And we are all continuing to support each other through our ongoing grief.”

Mackenzie died peacefully at home on Sunday March 26, 2023.

Prior to his death Mackenzie was studying for his A-levels at Turton Sixth Form College, and he played for CMB Football Club in Lostock.

He took driving lessons and passed both his theory and practical on his first attempt.

Mackenzie loved cars, holidays abroad, gaming, music, and spending time with his friends.

Paula says that he loved his sportswear and trainers and “always looked and smelt great”.

He was athletic, and enjoyed football, swimming, running, and going to the gym.

Phil Roberts and his wife Karen are holding a memorial event on Sunday May 5.

The couple are close to the family, and their son Declan Roberts and Mackenzie were best friends.

Karen said: “Our 17-year-old son was best Mackenzie’s best friend, and they grew up together.

“This will be the second event we have put on for him.

“It was really difficult for the kids that knew him at school.

“This is a nice way to get together and remember him.”

The event is free to attend, and will be held at Eagley Football Club, Dunscar Bridge, Blackburn Road, Bolton BL4 9PF.

There will be a football match between Mackenzie’s teammates, a BBQ, a raffle, live music, a DJ, and face painting.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.