A Shotley mum who lost her son to leukaemia received a standing ovation in front of a room of celebrities as part of her work to raise awareness of the condition. 

Callan Brett, who works as a healthcare assistant, told Henry's life story at the Who’s Cooking Dinner? annual fundraiser at The Dorchester in London on Monday, September 18.

She has been supporting Leukaemia UK after losing her son Henry to the disease at just 14 months in 2020.

Hosted by food writer and TV personality Gizzi Erskine, she joined 200 guests for a four-course dinner and entertainment from This Is Going To Hurt writer and comedian Adam Kay.

Each chef had donated their ingredients, materials and time free of charge, allowing 100% of the funds raised to directly support the charity.

A video was also shown of Callan and her family's experience of leukaemia.

In March 2020, Callan and her husband James Brett lost their son Henry to infant leukaemia, a form of blood cancer which affects babies under 12 months old.

Ipswich Star: The Brett familyThe Brett family (Image: Brett family)

Ms Brett said: “He cannot have died for no reason.

“His death has to mean something. If I have to live the entire rest of my life without him, then there has to be progress in that time. We cannot stand by knowing that more research could spare another family from his type of heartbreak.”

After the video ended, the guests took to their feet for the first standing ovation in the 25-year history of the event.

Following the event, she added: “This has been an incredible night, and I’m so grateful to have been invited.

Ipswich Star: Chefs of Who’s Cooking Dinner? 2023Chefs of Who’s Cooking Dinner? 2023 (Image: Gareth Davie / Leukaemia UK)

“Leukaemia UK have really listened to us over the years I’ve worked with them, and they’re really striving towards better treatments for our children. That’s what Who’s Cooking Dinner? has been all about.”

The event raised more than £235,000 for the charity from ticket sales, auction prizes, and raffle tickets.