Edinburgh schoolboy Rudi Abbot dies after battling rare brain tumour for three years - and thousands pay tribute

Tributes paid to young Hearts fan who died from rare brain tumour
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Thousands of tributes have been paid to a young Hearts fan from Edinburgh who died this week after a three-year-long battle with a rare brain tumour. Rudi Abbot, who was just eight years old, died on Friday night with his parents by his side.

Rudi was first diagnosed with a rare and aggressive grade four brain tumour, known as pineoblastoma, in the centre of his brain in August 2020. Since then he had undergone gruelling treatment, extensive and extremely complex brain surgeries and travelled across to Germany for treatment.

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In March 2022 communities across Edinburgh and beyond raised over £110,000 to help Rudi travel to Seattle in America for a medical trial since the family had reached the end of the road with the NHS. But after Rudi’s tumour did not respond to the chemotherapy, the family returned to Edinburgh and spent Christmas at home – the family’s last one together.

Rudi Abbot died after a three year battle with a rare and aggressive brain tumourRudi Abbot died after a three year battle with a rare and aggressive brain tumour
Rudi Abbot died after a three year battle with a rare and aggressive brain tumour

On Saturday, Rudi’s dad Ben posted the devastating update to let all followers on the ‘Rally for Rudi’ page that his son had died.

He said: “At 10:50pm last night our beloved and truly incredible wee warrior Rudi passed away. He still pushed through all the family visits stoically and waited until mum and dad’s bedtimes to quietly depart. If he’d waited even 10 more minutes we probably wouldn’t have known he was gone til morning. Thanks son. His timing has always been spot on.”

Ben added: “Although it’s an incredibly sad day for us all, we really did urge our boy to leave us yesterday. We reassured him all day that we were ok for him to pass over and our souls would link up again soon. It really felt like we guided him over that last hurdle. It’s been a true honour for all of us to be by your side on your courageous and joyous journey through life. You’ve taught us all so so much.”

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Thousands of people have paid their respects to the much-loved schoolboy – from some of Rudi’s favourite footballers like Hearts midfielder Josh Ginnelly, to strangers who had been touched by the youngster’s bravery.

Ashley Cain, who co-founded the Azaylia Foundation after the loss of his own daughter to cancer, was among those to leave heartfelt message for the family. He said: “I am so sorry and so sad to hear this news. This hit me deeply as I’ve followed, supported and even had the privilege of meeting this incredible beautiful little champ! I’m sending my heartfelt love and condolences to you both and your family through this heartbreaking time.

“Be rest assured Rudi will always be watching down on you and even though he isn’t with you on earth, he will always be with you in mind, body, heart, soul and from God’s heavens above. Please try and be strong and we will always be here for you”

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