Parents of a one-year-old diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer are preparing to give him the gift of life.
Theo Schofield’s health problems began when he was diagnosed with meningitis and septicaemia in October after he began to suffer from a purple rash.
But tests continued to return abnormal results, sparking further concerns for the Washington youngster’s health.
He has since been diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour, which affects around 70 children each year in the UK, as well as chronic kidney disease.
The cancer has led to the mass being removed, along with half of one of his kidney, but doctors at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary are due to carry out surgery later this month to remove both of the organs.
Meanwhile, his parents Kelsie Barrett, and Nikkie Schofield, both 22, have been told they are both matches for a kidney transplant and are due to under go further tests to establish if one of their one organs is suitable.
We want people to become blood donors because he’s already had four transfusions and he would be even sicker if he hadn’t had them.Kelsie Barrett
Theo spent his first birthday on April 19 in hospital and started dialysis the day before.
His mum or dad could be waiting until next year until they have surgery at the Freeman Hospital to complete the transplant.
As he waits, Theo will need to undergo dialysis up to four times a week. He is also eight weeks into a 54 week programme of chemotherapy.
Theo also has to be fed through a peg in his stomach.
Kelsie, who is also mum to Tyler Schofield, three, said: “We’ve both been told we are a match for Theo and we’ve both started to be tested.
“He’s very sleepy and he’s awake for maybe two hours of 24, but he’s very sick. I’ve never left his side.
“It could be next year by the time they do the transplant, so we still have to wait six months, and it just depends on how well the chemotherapy goes, because they want to make sure no microcells remain.
“We want people to become blood donors because he’s already had four transfusions and he would be even sicker if he hadn’t had them.
“We also want people to sign up to be organ donors, because he could still need a transplant from someone else.
“It’s amazing the stuff that he has had to go through.”
Tyler is living with Kelsie’s mum Dawn Barrett, 45, as Kelsie helps care for her youngest child, while Nikkie, who lives close to the family home, works at Unipress.
Kelsie added: “Mam’s doing a great job of helping to keep Tyler in a routine and it means he can still go to nursery.
“She’s been a big help.”
The family has also been supported by Clic Sargent and the Rainbow Trust.