A 'sporty and active' teenager was diagnosed with cancer after his vocal problems were initially thought to be caused by his voice breaking.

When Tom Broadfoot first noticed something was wrong when he developed difficulties speaking back in February mum Sandra, 54, and dad Ian, 45, thought it was normal symptoms of his voice becoming deeper.

But when the 13-year-old told his parents he felt a lump on his Adam's Apple at the beginning of April they took him to his GP where he was prescribed antibiotics as the back of his throat appeared swollen, Liverpool Echo reports.

However when things didn't improve his parents took him to A&E where he had a CT scan at Ormskirk Hospital before being immediately transferred to Alder Hey on April 16 for a four hour operation to have the affected tissue removed.

Following the surgery, Tom, who lives in Kirkby, Merseyside, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer which develops in the lymph nodes in the neck.

Tom with mum and dad Sandra and Ian

He is now undergoing a four-month chemotherapy programme

Sandra said: "The events of the last couple of months have been a big shock to us as a family.

"Tom is a really intelligent kid and he's worked so hard in school to keep up over this period.

"He's really sporty and active. He's captain of his high school football team and also does athletics for his school.

Tom is being treated at Alder Hey hospital

"Since he was diagnosed he hasn't really talked about it openly. He said he feels okay and that he felt better once the doctors told him it was treatable."

Ian said the family were very hopeful and said that the cancer had been caught early and that doctors were confident it could be treated.

He also revealed that Tom had received some messages of support from footballer Steven Gerrard and current Liverpool player Harvey Elliot during his recovery.

He told the ECHO : "It's been a massive shock to the whole family and all our friends. It's just not something I ever thought I'd have to hear.

Steven Gerrard has sent a message of support to Tom

"Everyone has been very supportive and his school has phoned up every week to check how he is getting on.

"Tom's a massive Liverpool fan. He's travelled to both Champion's League finals. He even got sent messages from Steven Gerrard and Harvey Elliot.

"I think those messages really gave him a lift. Those first few weeks were really tough but it was amazing to see the expression on his face when he saw the message from Steven Gerrard.

"This has been a really difficult time for us because we haven't been able to see anyone because of coronavirus.

Current Liverpool player Harvey Elliott

"My parents live in Spain and Sandra's parents are shielding so we've had to rely on support over the phone.

"The support we have received has been incredible. Both our employers have been really supportive."

Sandra and Ian said they would like to thank everyone on ward 3B at Alder Hey for their support during Tom's treatment.

Two of Ian's close friends, Neil Latham and Stephen Sullivan, are raising money for the family and their chosen charity causes in the run up to Tom's 14th birthday.

They will run a total of 14 marathons between them with the money raised going to the Teenage Cancer Trust and Alder Hey Children's Hospital, as well as some of the money going to Tom for his birthday.

You can donate to their fundraiser here.