A 12-year-old boy has died just weeks after he was told he was cancer free.
Micky Bennett thought he had beaten the rare leukaemia he was diagnosed with in July 2018.
The schoolboy underwent a stem cell transplant in November, which failed, reports Essex Live.
Micky’s battle captivated the communities in both Basildon and Dagenham, where he also has family, after he was told he needed a stem cell transplant from a matching donor to be cured of his cancer.
Throughout his battle Micky got to meet stars such as Grime musician Stormzy who came to visit the 12-year-old in hospital.
Eventually Micky ended up taking donated stem cells from his dad, David, which were a 50 per cent match – the best they could do with time against them.
Soon after Micky showed signs of recovery and was told he was cancer free.
However, due to complications, a lack of white blood cells, and the intensity of the treatment Micky had to go through, he contracted an infection.
It eventually developed into several others and Micky died on Friday, April 12 surrounded by friends and family at home.
Kevin Durosaro, better known as musician D-Saro, grew close to the family and to Micky after he put together a song to raise awareness in October 2018.
The song, called ‘Fight Like Micky’, was viewed thousands of times on YouTube and the 35-year-old musician was at the family home when Micky sadly passed away.
“The last 10 months have been an endless rollercoaster for the family and everyone involved,” he said.
“Because of the complications and the treatment involved, and the low white blood cells, he had no immune system.
“He contracted an infection and that developed into about five or six others.”
He added: “The hardest part is that everyone had assumed he would be ok.
When you hear cancer free you think you’ve done it but people don’t understand the complications after.”
Micky’s story touched people both locally and further from home.
His favorite rapper Stormzy came to visit him in hospital and he also got to meet Tottenham and England footballer Harry Kane.
D-Saro’s own song also had a huge impact in helping spread awareness about the 12-year-old and the form of cancer he had.
“He was an amazing kid, he could be a little terror at times,” said D-Saro.
“He got to do so much in those 10 months.
“Everyone has been touched by his story and the funeral is going to be massive.
“I just thought it would be nice for everyone who helped or knew his story out there to put a tribute in.”
He continued: “Our first actual meeting was when we did the song and we invited him down to the studio.
He was going through treatment and I was speaking to his mum and dad throughout.
“In terms of our relationship, I was in his life for 10 months and when you go through something traumatic it brings you closer.
“I drove to his house on the night he passed away and I was there when it happened.
“I just want to make all this about Micky.
He brought the whole community together – Dagenham and Basildon – and there have been so many messages from people who don’t even know the family or who heard his story.”
D-Saro also wished to pay special mention to the thoughtfulness of both Mickey and his parents.
Micky helped to organise donations for a number of other charitable causes while ill – in particular he helped to organise a campaign to collect toys for children at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
His parents, Lisa Hicks and David Bennett, have also shown themselves to be truly incredible.
“His mum and his dad, they’re not from this planet. They’re made of metal,” said D’Saro
They always found time to make sure other people were ok.
“They would wish them a happy birthday and they shared posts when someone went missing.
“They always found time for others. His mum and dad have just been unreal.”
Mickey’s funeral will be taking place on Friday, April 26 with the procession beginning from his sister’s house in Dagenham and finishing at Ripple Road Cemetery.
The turnout is expected to be huge, complete with a motorbike procession, and speakers will be set up outside the cemetery for people who wish to hear the service.
But, as tragic as events are, Micky’s parents want everyone to remember him for the happy and smiling boy he was.
“He went through tough times but pretty much every day he tried to raise a smile,” said D-Saro.
“We want people to know how strong and smiling he was.
“That’s his parents’ main focus – they don’t want this to be doom and gloom.”