Northern Ireland news

Mother of Co Armagh boy with inoperable brain tumour tells of anguish as first anniversary of diagnosis approaches

Cameron Truesdale, pictured with mother Cassandra, has visited Mexico twice for treatment

THE mother of a 12-year-old Co Armagh boy with a rare and inoperable brain tumour has described how they are “trying hard not to look back” as they approach the first anniversary of his diagnosis.

Cassandra Finnegan said “this month has us all on edge” as her son Cameron Truesdale continues to battle the highly aggressive  tumour.

She said that despite signs of “slight shrinkage”, they can “never be complacent because you just never know what it could do next”.

The schoolboy from Waringstown was diagnosed on January 27 last year. Doctors said few treatment options were available on the NHS.

Cameron, a pupil at Brownlow Integrated College in Craigavon, is the only child in Northern Ireland with the diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) type of tumour, which affects just 40 children a year across the UK.

Determined to give their son a fighting chance, his family flew him to Mexico for pioneering treatment last September. After several weeks of the inter-arterial chemotheraphy and immunotherapy, scans revealed a “slight shrinkage” in his tumour.

The family returned home for Christmas. Cameron travelled back to Mexico this month with his father for more treatment. Doctors told them that they were “really happy” as there had been “no signs of progression” in his tumour.

But Ms Finnegan said they approach the first anniversary of his diagnosis with trepidation.

“We are approaching a year since Cameron was diagnosed and as hard as we try to not look back, it’s so hard to not remember the pain, heartache and most gut wrenching news we ever heard last year,” she said.

“This is making us worry more about every little possible symptom.

“This is the struggle of DIPG. You can never rest, never be complacent because you just never know what it could do next.

“But we need to keep looking forward and being positive. There can be no ifs or buts. We just need to keep fighting and going through the exhaustion.”

Cameron is due to return to Mexico for more treatment in two weeks. But with each cycle costing £30,000, Ms Finnegan said they are still in need of more funds.

“We thank everyone who helps us in every way from donating, fundraising, praying and just being there for us,” she said.

“Without this it’s hard to imagine how we could cope or where we would be.

“We still need to raise at least another £150,000 so we hope to have lots of fundraisers and to spread our JustGiving page more.

“The money will give Cameron the best chance of beating this cancer and will mean we have done everything in our power for him.”

:: For information on fundraising visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cure4cam.

 

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