A FAMILY'S lives have been ‘turned 180 degrees around’ after their two-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare cancer.

Graham and Danielle Painter’s son Caleb has Hepatoblastoma, a cancer that affects just two in a million children.

His parents first noticed something was wrong with the little boy when he was constipated and had a big belly.

They took Caleb to the GP who then referred him to Southampton Hospital where he had an MRI and CT scans.

“That’s when we were sat down and we got told by our oncologist that they were 99 per cent sure it was cancer,” Graham, 42, said.

“It’s called Hepatoblastoma, but I call it hippopotamus because I can never pronounce it.”

Bournemouth Echo: Caleb in hospital.

The doctors confirmed the diagnosis after a biopsy at King's College in London, which found a 15cm mass on the right-hand side of his liver.

Graham said the family faces ‘a long battle’ and is learning more each day about what Caleb's treatment will involve.

The toddler, who has four siblings, will have up to six months of chemotherapy, an operation at King's College in London, and even a possible liver transplant.

Friends of the family, from Poole, have set up a fundraiser to support them through the process, as Graham, who works as an extinguisher engineer, has had to take time off.

With a target of £10,000, it has at the time of writing raised more than £5,500.

Graham said the support has been ‘overwhelming’.

Bournemouth Echo: The Painter family.

“We are overwhelmed with the amount of support we’ve actually got,” he said.

"We’ve had friends reach out, they’re doing fundraisers, the Alderney Manor [Social Club], they’re doing fundraisers.

“People we don’t know because my wife Danielle has been so open and honest on Facebook about everything that we’re doing, it’s almost like the community is on the journey with us.

“That’s our way of getting that point across to people, that this is what we are going through, this is what we struggle with, this is what we’re going to struggle with on a daily basis.”

To donate to the fundraiser, search for ‘Help for Caleb and his family’ on GoFundMe.