Northern Ireland family in push to raise £300k so boy with tumour can be treated in Mexico
The heartbroken father of a 12-year-old Northern Ireland boy who has an inoperable brain tumour has urged other parents not to take their children for granted.
Cameron Truesdale (12) from Co Down was diagnosed earlier this year with a rare brain tumour known as DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma).
Dad Harold said the family were now desperately trying to raise funds to get lifesaving treatment for the youngster.
"Cameron is okay at the moment. We're taking it one day at a time," he said. "He's in good spirits. He's a normal 12-year-old boy who loves going fishing and playing on his quad.
"He's so selfless and kind."
Harold said that the day Cameron was diagnosed was the worst of his life.
"His mummy Cassandra phoned me to say she was taking Cameron to the GP. She rang again to say he was sent up to the hospital, so I met them up there," he explained.
"I was sitting at the side of the ward waiting on the consultant to come back and tell me what was happening.
"He told Cameron to go play the Xbox and wanted to speak to us alone. My heart sank. The walk from the ward to the private room was the worst. I knew it wasn't good news.
"His mummy and I have been separated for seven years, but we collapsed into each other when the consultant told us that he had a rare brain tumour and they couldn't operate.
"Our whole lives went from 100 to zero in a heartbeat. Our whole world fell apart."
The family are now fundraising to take Cameron to Mexico for potentially lifesaving treatment.
"His mummy did a lot of research and found the treatment. We can't afford it ourselves because it'll be in the region of €300,000 for the treatment, flights and accommodation."
Mexico is the only trial of its kind and Cameron's parents have been following its progress closely.
"It's trial and error at the moment. Each person adapts differently, but Cameron deserves the chance, especially because he is so well after six months of being diagnosed that we really think that this could help him," he said.
"We can't just do nothing. We have to do our best for Cameron, because he deserves it."
While the family had to go public with their heartbreaking story, Cameron wants to remain anonymous, and has asked that only one photo of him, taken from the back, is used to publicise the family's campaign.
"He's a very private boy. He's a typical 12-year-old," his dad added.
Cameron has a sister Chloe (9) and two stepsisters aged two and 15 months.
"It's an ongoing conversation between his mummy and me about the logistics of us all going over to Mexico. The two of us want to go over and be there with Cameron," he said.
And he added: "Don't take your children for granted. You don't know what is around the corner. When you're saying no to your kids, don't, unless you have to."
You can donate to the fund at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cure4cam