THERE’S fresh hope for a brave toddler after medics revealed the tumour which threatens his life is shrinking.
Kian Armstrong’s family were given the news they had been waiting for when cancer specialists told them the tot’s tumour, once the size of a melon, had reduced by 90 per cent.
But the three-year-old, from Castletown, still faces a long road of gruelling treatment after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer which forms from nerve tissue, earlier this year.
At the point of diagnosis, the cancer had spread to 95 per cent of Kian’s bones.
But he has responded better than could be expected with a 70-day period of chemotherapy.
Doctors have now placed him on a more intensive course of the treatment in a bid to rid his body of the cancer enough for surgery to remove the tumour.
Mum Jemma, 29, of Parkhouse Avenue, said: “We didn’t realise how badly spread Kian’s cancer was.
“We’ve since found out that the tumour, which is in his adrenal gland, was the size of a small melon.
“He’s responded much better to the treatment than they expected.
“They thought the tumour may shrink by 50 to 70 per cent, but it’s actually shrank 90 per cent.
“But the cancer had spread around his body in areas called hotspots. They are trying to reduce these hotspots with more chemotherapy before he has surgery.
“He sailed through the first lot of chemotherapy, but this second lot is tougher on him.”
The Armstrongs said they have been boosted by the support of the Castletown community, including The Supa, The Village Salon, Buttercups Nursery, The Solarium and The Peter David Lane Trust, who have raised thousands of pounds for the youngster.
The funds have paid for a garden for Kian including a wooden house, sandpit, water feature and toys, in which he can play during breaks in his treatment.
“He’s got all kinds in there,” said Jemma, a mum-of-four.
“It’s got little lights, gnomes, a wishing well and butterflies going all around it.
“Even when it’s raining, we can’t get him in from his garden. He loves it out there.”
Kian is unable to play in parks like other little boys his age incase his fragile immune system picks up any infections.
Jemma, who is married to Neil, added: “The garden was finished on the day before this third birthday.
“To see his little face when he first saw it was heartbreaking.”
Money is still being raised in Kian’s name which will be saved up.
He is part of a trial at Newcastle RVI, and may be selected for immunotherapy treatment to rebuild his immune system.
If so, the funds will pay for a holiday for Kian in EuroDisney.
If he is not selected for inclusion on the programme, his family feel so strongly about the benefits of immunotherapy they aim to save enough money to fly him to America where the treatment is given as standard.