Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland boy Cameron 'improving every day' in brain tumour battle at Mexican clinic

By David Young

A 12-year-old Northern Ireland boy with an inoperable brain tumour is doing well after receiving last-chance therapy at a specialist medical facility in Mexico.

Cameron Truesdale from Waringstown was diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain tumour in January, which doctors said was inoperable.

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, also known as 'DIPG', affects just 30 to 40 children a year in the UK and Cameron is currently the only child with it in Northern Ireland.

Cameron's family learned of experimental clinical trials in Mexico and launched a fundraising campaign to raise the £300,000 needed to cover the costs of the 10-month course of treatment.

And the experimental treatment appears to be working, his mum Cassandra said last night.

"Cameron is doing really well," she said from the apartment in the Mexican city of Monterrey where the family are staying while Cameron receives treatment.

"The doctors said they were really happy with him, and that there was more shrinkage to his tumour - and that things are really going well.

"He's just come out of the hospital after having his third chemotherapy session and second immunotherapy session on Saturday, and he bounced out of the hospital in great form.

"He was a little sick after the second treatment session, but other than that he has been grand.

"The rest of the time he's quite normal. He has been able to enjoy life between the treatments, which he has every 17 days. It makes a big difference not having to suffer.

"It's great that he seems to be going in the right direction: the doctors are really happy with his progress. At home, our doctors said there was no chance of his tumour shrinking. So to have it shrink twice so far is just amazing - clinically, he's improving every day."

Cassandra said the local people in Monterrey had been amazing: "When our landlords found out why we were here, they moved us to an apartment just five minutes from the hospital, and refused to accept any rent.

"They told us to use all our money to help pay for Cameron's treatment. They've also come and taken us out for day trips to show us round the city. It's fine. It's not home, but it's fine!"

The family have six weeks left in Mexico before they fly home on December 18, after Cameron's fifth treatment session. "We hope we'll be home for Christmas. Fingers crossed," Cassandra said.

But they urgently need more money to ensure that Cameron's treatment runs its course.

"There is enough money in the bank for his next treatment - his fourth," Cassandra said.

"People have been brilliant, and money is still coming in, so we hope by the time his fifth treatment is due - the last one before we go back home - we'll have enough to cover it. But we've nowhere near enough for the treatments Cameron will need after we return home."

To help, Cameron's supporters are planning a big fundraising event for the first of December in Portadown's Seagoe Hotel.

"Maybe local firms in Craigavon might want to buy some tickets to the event for their works Christmas party," said Cassandra. "Here's hoping!"

More information can be found at facebook.com/ cure4camfund/

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