A toddler whose family was rocked by his neuroblastoma diagnosis and is helping others in their own cancer fight as he sets out on the road to recovery.
Teddie McCallum’s parents David McCallum, 38, and Sarah Winn, 26, were given the shocking news at Christmas when they took him to hospital when he was unable to pass urine.
Investigations found a tumour in his abdomen, with two rounds of chemotherapy helping to half the size of the cancer - the similar form of the rare disease which claimed the life of Blackhall Colliery boy Bradley Lowery.
A new scan is due soon as doctors at the North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR), based at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, monitor his progress,
But his family say the team is confident he is winning his battle, with the mass likely to continue to shrink.
The 21-month-old was already under the care of medics as he was born with a heart murmur, with recent checks finding two holes in his heart have closed without the need for any surgery.
He’s coming on leaps and bounds now.David McCallum
As a thank you to the staff at NECCR, David, who has given up his role as a utility worker to care for Teddie, and Sarah, are raising funds to help its future work.
The Wingate family, including David’s children Layton, 12, Brooklyn, nine, and Tyler, eight, and Sarah’s children Leah, eight, and Lily-Mae, six, are being supported in their efforts by a horse fair, which is being held at Mount Pleasant Farm on South Hetton Road near Easington Village until Wednesday.
David said: “It was over Christmas and he couldn’t wee, so we took him to hospital.
“They were able to test his urine and found out within hours that it was neuroblastoma, so we went from that to finding out he would need chemotherapy.
“He’s had a scan and they’ve found the tumour is now half the size it was, but it had been pressing on his kidneys and bladder.
“Obviously with Bradley Lowery being local and knowing his story, we were just more aware, but there are two types of neuroblastoma and we’ve been told there are two types and he has the good one out of the two.
“He’s coming on leaps and bounds now.
“He was starting to walk and get about but then he stopped when he was being treated, and how he’s getting back to where he was after starting again from scratch.”
Teddie is named after David’s grandfather Ned Dawes, 79, who is also known as Ted, and is a horse breeder, which is why the family has an association with the horse fair.
David added: “The NECCR does research and their nurses are amazing, they don’t just do one role, they do everything they can to help.
“We just want to try and raise as much as we can for them.
“We will never be able to repay them for what they have done for us, but we want to give something back.
“I’ve been involved with horses all my life and everybody has been giving us their support.
“It’s been fantastic so far and there will now be other families helped by the travelling community who have donated.”
The fair is donating £20 from every £80 pitch fee to the fund, with David’s friend Dean Barber helping to support the fundraising efforts.