Inspired by the courage of their young son, a Castledawson couple are hoping to raise £10,000 towards a new MRI scanner for the Koala Ward at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London.
Eight-year-old Caine Ross underwent surgery at the start of the year to remove a brain tumour at the hospital and is now back home in south Derry recovering.
Donna and Darryl, along with friends and family members, have set up a JustGiving page for donations and a Facebook page ‘Caine’s journey to Great Ormond Street’ to keep public up to date with what’s happening.
Already the donations are flowing in with more than £2,000 raised since the page came online.
Little Caine has been on a long, painful journey since he started taking epileptic fits over two years ago.
The medication failed to stop the seizures and Donna and Darryl pressed doctors to investigate further only to receive the devastating news that he had a benign brain tumour.
Caine was eventually referred to Great Ormond Street which is one of the few hospitals in the UK specialising in the treatment of this type of tumour.
Funding was secured to send Caine to the hospital but the family had to wait until July last year before travelling to London for a series of tests to determine if surgery was the right path for him.
It turned out he was a suitable candidate for surgery and the family then had a another wait till near the end of January for the operation.
They are now into another waiting game to see if the tumour has been successfully removed.
If not, Caine will have to return every seven years to get the tumour removed.
Throughout his journey to Great Ormond Street Caine’s bravery has helped his parents cope.
His courage has now inspired his family to focus all their energy on fundraising for the Koala Ward which is currently trying to raise money for a new MRI scanner. If the scanner had been available, it would have saved Caine, his family and friends from such a distressing wait.
The Ross family have set themselves a target of £10,000 and over the coming weeks and months, they have a number of fundraisers planned. A number of schools in the Magherafelt area are supporting the campaign.
“From the very start, it was a fight,” said Donna. “A fight to get the right doctors, then after diagnosis, a fight to get the right treatment at the right hospital. There are so many things that I never considered before, until you are on that pathway, you just never think about.
“This is still very raw and very emotional for all of us but Caine is doing so well. He has really bounced back. When he was first diagnosed, it was as if we had got on a roller-coaster which was going around and around in circles. We feel that the end of the roller-coaster is now in sight.”
She said they now wanted to give something back.