The parents of a courageous three-year-old battling a brain tumour are raising money for ‘kinder, less toxic’ treatments for children like their son.
Ed and Jessica Mitchell, whose son Dylan was first diagnosed with a Grade 4 medulloblastoma in May last year, were told the devastating news that the cancer had spread in January despite gruelling chemotherapy.
Doctors said they had no choice but to embark on a course of radiotherapy –which could leave the youngster with devastating and lasting side effects such as brain damage, burns, ulcers, hair loss, fatigue and stunted growth – as well as a stem cell transplant and another high dose of chemotherapy.
Mrs Mitchell, who is also mum to Jake, five and Elliot, one, said: “We have been told the treatment is going to make him more likely to get cancer in the future, and it will dramatically shorten his life.
“It will also damage his brain and affect his pituitary gland, which means his spine could stay the same size it is now, for the rest of his life.
“I don’t mind him living at home with me forever, but it’s not the life I would have chosen for him. We’re taking each day as it comes.”
The news of Dylan’s plight has travelled around his village of Aston Clinton, where locals have stepped up to support the Mitchells during this difficult time.
The 35-year-old said: “The village has been amazing. We haven’t been living here that long but we’ve had people cook us dinner, bring us bottles of wine and people offer to take Jake out for the day.
“We cannot believe their kindness and want to thank them for rallying round.”
Green Park Conference Centre held a swim session last week in aid of Children With Cancer, and the Mitchells have organised a dinner dance at the Holiday Inn in Weston Turville tonight (Saturday), which has sold out.
The family wants to spread the awareness of brain tumour symptoms in children and says www.headsmart.org.uk is a good place to start.