Mikey is a playful and loving little toddler, who likes nothing more than to spend hours playing with his toy farm animals while singing Old Macdonald Had a Farm.” He loves cuddling up to watch Peppa Pig and playing with his baby brother, Bobby.
But in December 2017 when Mikey was just 20 months old and enjoying the build-up to Christmas, his parents noticed a lump in his tummy. After a trip to A&E, the doctors diagnosed his condition as stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, with further tests revealing that the tumour had grown from above his right kidney to across almost his entire abdomen. It had heavily infiltrated his bone marrow.
Mikey was started on a gruelling induction chemotherapy schedule on Christmas Eve, receiving eight cycles of treatment every ten days. He responded well to the initial treatment and Mikey has since gone on to battle his way through a complex eight and a half hour surgery to remove the remainder of the tumour.
That was followed by high dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant and radiotherapy, and he is due to start immunotherapy treatment. Throughout his eight months of treatment, he has had to endure numerous blood transfusions, general anaesthetics, nose tube insertions, injections and antibiotics to fight infections. Amazingly he has remained in high spirits and has helped to carry his family through it with his endless humour and cheeky personality.
He has even taken great pleasure in running down the hospital corridors giggling while attached to medication wires, knowing that his parents would need to chase after him with his medical drip stand!
Mikey’s mum, Caroline, says: I will never forget when the news was broken to us. I was heavily pregnant at the time and we were all looking forward to Mikeys first proper Christmas and to introducing him to a little baby brother. We couldnt have dreamt in our worst nightmares when we walked into A&E that it would be another month and a half before we would walk out of a hospital again.”
“That said, it has never ceased to amaze me how resilient he has been throughout and the strength of his character has shone brightly throughout.
While Mikey has so far responded well to his treatment, immunotherapy spells the end of his frontline treatment available on the NHS, and his battle is far from over. Almost 50% of children with high-risk neuroblastoma relapse and when it does come back less than 1 in 10 survive.
So Mikey and his family are fundraising in case they need to access treatment or clinical trials not available through the NHS, to give him the best chance of the cancer-free future he deserves.
“We are hugely grateful for your support,” continues Caroline. “Your donations could help Mikey receive the best treatment available to him. We must keep the cancer away.”