Raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity inspired by Ryan.
Ryan was just 4 when he started having seizures. After seven months of begging (and offering to pay), our hospital eventually gave him an MRI scan – call it mother's instinct but I knew there was a brain tumour there.
Each GP or paediatrician I saw said he couldn't possibly have a tumour because he would be ill! I appreciate they can't assume every child is ill but they shouldn't assume they are not. “Mother's instinct" is a fantastic tool. After a misdiagnosis of neurofibromatosis, again by our local hospital, Sheffield Children's Hospital and the neurosurgeon there explained what the MRI had shown and performed a biopsy on Ryan. This came back as a pilocytic astrocytoma so they agreed to wait three months and perform another MRI again. They were concerned the tumour wasn't behaving as it should so in January 2009 they performed major surgery. Ryan had a pilomyxoid astrocytoma. They debulked the tumour but a lot of it had grown too deep and embedded itself round his nerves so they were unable to get to that. He started chemotherapy in February 2009 which lasted for 19 months and kept the tumour under control.
Until you are in this awful situation, you have no idea how you would cope. Your child's life is in the hands of others and you are completely and utterly helpless. The way I have coped as his mum is to fundraise and raise awareness of this terrible disease. Until I looked into it, I had no idea this that Cancer Research donate less than 2% a year to funding research into this killer, yet it is the biggest childhood cancer!
By raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity we know our money is going to help Ryan and others like him. To know that they are researching Ryan's actual tumour is a huge incentive to raise funds for this fantastic cause. Anything we can do to help the cause we will do. Ryan is our life and I have no idea what the future holds for him.
Tracey Piggott (Ryan's mum)
Sadly the tumour has returned since Ryan's chemotherapy finished and he will now begin some form of radiotherapy; as I write this they are unsure which type. However, I imagine it will be gruelling and it's another big hurdle for him to get over.You can make an online donation to The Ryan Piggott Fund.