Giant message in the sand for cancer-battling South Shields teenager ahead of leg amputation
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Kai Heslop, 19, is due to have his leg amputated above the knee at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital today, Tuesday, May 11 – the day of his 20th birthday.
The Horsley Hill teenager was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer in his left leg called osteosarcoma in January 2021 after complaining of persistent pain in his leg following two minor injuries.
His family shared the story of his brave cancer battle last week in a bid to raise £60,000 for Kai to have osseointegration surgery in Sweden that would see him fitted with an ‘ultra-modern’ prosthetic leg.
Now a huge message has been drawn in the sand at Sunderland’s Roker Beach by Alfred Huntley bearing the words ‘good luck Kai’ ahead of his surgery.
Kai’s bravery has even caught the attention of Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles, who wrote to the Toon Army fan to say that the squad was behind him as he ‘tackles the biggest fight of his life.’
After complaining of leg pain in January, Kai went on to develop a large lump on the side of his left leg.
When the pain became so severe on January 25 he went to A&E at South Tyneside District Hospital where he underwent an X-Ray and MRI scan.
Just days later was referred to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital where he underwent a biopsy and doctors told him he had a rare bone cancer tumour at the top of his left leg.
Following his diagnosis Kai underwent a 10-week course of intensive chemotherapy, following which doctors told him that the cancer has not spread beyond his leg.
However as part of his life-saving treatment Kai will need to have his leg amputated and undergo a further 20 weeks of chemotherapy at the Freeman Hospital before having a standard prosthetic fitted.
But Kai’s family believes the surgery in Sweden would give him a greater quality of life, as the modern prosthetic leg would enable him to feel different surfaces as he is walking and allow him greater mobility.
To donate visit: https://gofund.me/cfed2d2d