Northern Ireland news

Mum tells of Mexico brain tumour chemo hopes for son (12)

Cameron Truesdale (12) with his mother Cassandra Finnegan

THE mother of the only child in Northern Ireland fighting a rare brain tumour has spoken of her hopes as he undergoes experimental treatment in Mexico.

Cameron Truesdale (12), from Waringstown, Co Down, is due to begin the ground-breaking treatment today after travelling to a clinic close to Mexico City.

His mother Cassandra Finnegan has described how the family hope the pioneering chemotherapy, which isn't available on the NHS, will be the miracle they have been praying for.

A pupil at Brownlow Integrated College in Craigavon, Cameron was diagnosed with the highly aggressive DIPG brain tumour in January, which doctors said was inoperable.

DIPG affects just 30 to 40 children a year in the UK and Cameron is currently the only child affected in the north.

Due to the location and type of tumour, few treatment options are available on the NHS.

But determined to give their son a fighting chance in life, the family learned of experimental clinical trials in Mexico and launched a fundraising campaign to bring him there.

As efforts continue to gather the £300,000 needed for 10 months of treatment, they learned earlier this month that the medical team in Mexico had examined Cameron's scans and accepted him for treatment.

Ms Finnegan said they will do all they can to help the schoolboy.

"Cameron will be the fifth child from the UK to go over to Mexico and the other four kids are fighting and having treatment and they are doing really well," she said.

"Some patients started going to Mexico as they give chemotherapy a different way, through the groin area which goes straight to the tumour.

"They have seen their tumours shrinking and their clinical symptoms improve. A lot of patients are seeing amazing results.

"It's a long way off from anything here - it will be years before anything is brought in by the NHS. Cameron might not have that time."

Cameron and his family travelled last week to Mexico, recently hit by an earthquake, where it is hoped treatment will begin today.

Ms Finnegan said he doesn't let his illness get him down.

"He's so positive," she said. "We are positive - we have said yes, you have cancer, but we are going to treat it and you're going to be fine."

For information on fundraising, see www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cure4cam

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