For most 11-year-old boys, Facebook is a way to chat with friends and share photographs - but for Reece Puddington, it was a place to express a more momentous message.

The British boy, who has had cancer for more than half his life, used a status update to announce he had decided to refuse potentially life-prolonging drugs in order to accept his fate and make the most of his final days, at home with his family.

He told friends via the website that he could no longer face the demands of gruelling treatment and wished to let "nature take its course".

He wrote: "My mum had always hoped over the last five to six years that she would have the courage to know when enough was enough. After careful consideration, my mum thought that if she was doing it for herself she would keep sending me for treatment as she wouldn't want to let me go, but if she was doing it for me she'd let me go. Well, she's letting me go ..."


Reece, from Seasalter, Kent, was diagnosed in 2008 with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system that affects about 100 children a year. His updates on his condition on Facebook have attracted a growing following.

In a posting last week he wrote: "After the latest scan results I was sent home to rest and think over the two possible options ... I could opt for another trial, but this would mean travelling a lot to the hospital and coping with the side-effects, but could also hopefully extend my life, or ... I could simply do nothing, stay at home and let nature take its course which would lead to me losing my life slightly earlier than if I'd had more treatment."

His mother, Kay Puddington, who helps write his blog, said: "Reece has been so good, he never moans. He just got tired of the whole regime."

After his diagnosis in May 2008, Reece had chemotherapy and the cancer, which had started in a gland near his kidney, went into remission. However, he became ill again in 2012 and his family were told the condition was terminal.

Reece's "bucket list" includes seeing his mother learn to drive so they can take day trips. She said they were hoping to go for a drive along the coast.