The family of a seriously ill 12-year-old boy are facing a mammoth 36-hour journey today to earthquake-hit Mexico in a bid for life-saving treatment.
Cameron Truesdale was given a terminal diagnosis by medical staff in January after a scan at Craigavon Area Hospital discovered a rare brain tumour.
However his family discovered a pioneering treatment and are moving today to the south American country in a bid to save the young boy’s life.
The Waringstown boy has been diagnosed with the rare and inoperable Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma also known as ‘DIPG’ which is the second most common type of primary, high grade brain tumour in children.
Cameron’s mum Cassandra Finnegan searched for another way to help save the life of her eldest child.
“We looked online and in support groups for this illness and found a treatment in Monteray City in Mexico,” she said.
The family have been tirelessly fundraising to help raise the £300k needed for the treatment and are now leaving for Mexico today in a bid to save his life.
As Mexico City reels from a massive earthquake the family are embarking on a huge trek to south America with high hopes for the Brownlow Integrated College pupil.
Cassandra said this morning that she feels ‘ill’ leaving today and she hasn’t had time to take it all in.
“But a few months out of all of our lives to bring Cameron home well is a small price to pay,” she said.
It was last year, just months after Cameron started at Brownlow Integrated College, that Cassandra noticed a change in her son.
“Last November we noticed his speech a little slurred and he had headaches. It was in January this year we took him to Craigavon Hospital. He was given a CT scan at 11.30am and by 4pm we were told by doctors that there was no treatment,” she said.
Cameron was given radiotherapy in Belfast to mitigate the tumour but the family were told it was a terminal diagnosis.
Mum Cassandra, her four children including Chloe, Courtney and Caitlin, her husband David Finnegan and Cameron’s father Hammy Truesdale are all heading to support Cameron during his treatment.
She said they were not concerned about travelling to Mexico as they are going to Monteray which is in the north, far from the current earthquake zone.
She paid a huge tribute to Brownlow Integrated College and their staff. “They have been a great support to Cameron and us all during this time. They have went above and beyond the call of duty,” she said.
She also praised Kingspark Primary School, where Cameron used to go and where his younger siblings are now pupils.
“They have all be fantastic,” she said.
It will be a three month stay for the family and they are travelling with mixed emotions but full of hope.
“We are all very grateful for all the support we have received,” said Cassandra.
For more information on how to help support Cameron and his family go to www.facebook.com/cure4camfund/
If you would like to donate, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cure4cam