Family of eight-year-old South Shields boy fulfilling wishes as doctors end treatment for rare and aggressive cancer found after toothache
A South Shields schoolboy and his family are spending their time fulfilling his wishes after doctors said they could not find a way to continue with his cancer treatment.
Ethan Adams, from Harton Village, was treated for toothache in November last year, but when that failed to put a stop to the pain, further investigations found he had rhabdomyosarcoma, with a tumour discovered in his head.
Further checks found another in his chest, attached to his spine, and speckles of the disease were identified in his bone marrow.
He was given chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy, but in recent days, his parents Mark and Tracey, both 43, have been told that as his treatment has already been given at its most intense levels, nothing more can be offered.
Ethan’s eye sight has also deteriorated due to damage to his optic nerve in the last week.
His family, including siblings Evan, 11, and Ellie, 14, are now working through a list of activities and experiences Ethan is drawing up, with a visit to North Marine Park, feeding the ducks, a trip to Ocean Beach Pleasure Park and a break at a caravan in Thirsk among them.
He is also looking forward to a fish and chip tea and a favourite dinner of prawns after a line used to feed him was taken off before he headed home.
In support of this, a GoFundMe page has been launched – raising more than £5,700 within a day – with the money to also help the Adams through the tough financial time brought on as they care for their boy.
It comes as Ethan approaches his ninth birthday this Friday, a promise has been made by the family friends who have set up the appeal called “He will have the best day.”
Mark said: “He’s just battled it, no problem, he’s been so good and positive.
"The picture which keeps coming back in my mind is the first day he started radiotherapy when we had to go to the Freeman Hospital and we parked the car and were walking towards the hospital and he was about 20 yards ahead of us.
"There was just no fear, he went in through the rotating doors by himself and most kids would be fearful or apprehensive, he just hit it head on.
"The courage in this kid has been unbelievable. We are just so proud of how he has taken this on.”
The Adams are being helped by a specialist team from the Royal Newcastle Infirmary, in Newcastle, where the Harton Primary School pupil and Sunderland fan was given his chemotherapy
Mark said the family struggled with the task of admitting they needed help and expressed gratitude to all those who have reached out.
He added: “I think we’re very proud people, we never ask for help.
"I think we’re overwhelmed by the situation, because the amount of messages we’ve got and people offering support, it’s just unbelievable.
"And I think probably because we’re proud people, we were a bit apprehensive, but so many people have come forward to help us.”
The GoFundMe page is called The Adams –Magical Memories Fundraiser andanyone unable to donate is asked to help by spreading the word.