The Charlie Todd Fund

A Supporter Group in memory of Charlie, raising funds toward research into brain tumours

Charlie's story

Charlie was born on 5th July 2010. He was a completely normal, healthy boy who loved school and sports such as football, skiing and karate. Most of all he loved messing about with his big sister Lucy whom he adored. All that changed on 1st February 2016 when he was diagnosed with a High Grade Medulloblastoma Brain Tumour, aged just 5 1/2.

His only symptoms had been recurrent morning vomiting. The vomiting started on boxing day 2015, the day we all set off on a family ski holiday to France. Apart from having a small vomit on waking and slight loss of appetite Charlie didn't otherwise appear unwell. He had great fun on his ski holiday and returned to school in January. As a few weeks passed, his vomiting got worse. Charlie's GP booked him in for an MRI scan, however on the last weekend of January, a few days before his scan was scheduled, his vomiting got so bad he was admitted to A&E. The next day Charlie was given a CT and MRI scan and we were told the devastating news that he had a Brain Tumour.

He was rushed down to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and underwent surgery the following day. The operation successfully removed all Charlie's tumour and he recovered amazingly well from the surgery. A few weeks later we were given further bad news, that his was an aggressive high Grade Medulloblastoma. The oncologist was hopeful, that following the successful surgery and with intensive treatment, Charlie would make full recovery.

His treatment involved 6 weeks of radiotherapy and 4 months of high dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue. During this time, Charlie underwent many blood transfusions, about 40 general anesthetics, 4 days in intensive care with an infection and many days being really sick.

Charlie was so brave throughout his terrible illness, he was always on the go and just took his treatment in his stride. His love of star wars, lego and practical jokes got him through the long hours in hospital. Although at times the treatment was grueling, we have many treasured memories of this time spent with Charlie.

The scans he received during treatment showed no evidence of cancer, this gave us such hope that he would beat this terrible disease and return to a normal life after once finished treatment. However, in October 2016, Charlie's end of treatment MRI scan showed that his cancer had returned as an aggressive spread across his brain and he was given a terminal diagnosis. We learned that there are currently no curative treatment options for recurrent Medulloblastoma.

There are no words that can describe the complete and utter shock, grief and helplessness that we all felt when hearing this news. The sadness of the prognosis of this disease is completely overwhelming and it was impossible to imagine life without Charlie, accepting that our amazing little boy was never to grow up, or that his big sister Lucy was to have to live her life without the support and love of her wonderful little brother.

Charlie loved his life so much and he loved his family and friends. He was such a sporty, clever, kind boy with a great sense of humour. He was such a joy to be with. Charlie was too young to fully understand the severity of his disease and he always believed he would get better.

Charlie gradually went downhill after we were told there was no cure for his disease. He fought it with all his strength, walking into hospital three days before he passed away. On 7th December, just eight weeks after we were told his cancer had returned, Charlie died with his family by his side. He was just 6 1/2 years old.

Tragically, more children and young adults now die from brain tumours than from any other cancer. We want to fundraise in Charlie's memory, investing the money into brain tumour research with the aim of finding a cure this very under-researched disease so others do not have to go through what we have.

Many thanks from the Todd family