Mother in treatment fund appeal for terminally-ill son

Jennifer Ure Stewart and her son Luke
Jennifer Ure Stewart and her son Luke
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The mother of a terminally-ill youngster given just months to live has made a heartfelt appeal for money as funds for his treatment are set to run out.

Jennifer Ure Stewart says she will lose her eight-year-old son Luke – who is suffering from an aggressive rare brain tumour – if the funds dry up.

Ms Stewart has enough money, £35,000, to pay for his next two Intra-Arterial (IA) treatments at the Monterrey Vale Oriente hospital where Luke is due to receive his 11th treatment at the end of this month.

However, she does not know what the future holds and requires around £200,000 to pay for this year’s round of care which has so far benefited her young son.

Luke from Tranent, East Lothian, was diagnosed with a brain tumour known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG) last January with doctors only giving him months to live.

This spurred the family into a mammoth fundraising campaign which to date has raised an incredible £186,500 on a JustGiving page for his treatment.

Ms Stewart, who has two other sons – Lewis aged five and Lochrin, two– said her son’s tumour has shrunk to the extent that a No Evidence of Disease (NED) diagnosis is tantalisingly close.

She said: “If he stops his treatment we’re going to watch my son die, we’re going to watch him deteriorate and go downhill in front of our eyes because there’s nothing else that can stop this happening.

“There’s nothing in this country unless they come up with something next week which isn’t going to happen.

“I don’t even feel frustrated about it – I feel gutted because we’re at the stage where these treatments are clearly helping Luke.

“It’s showing up on the scans that the treatment is helping him and to get to the stage where you don’t have the money is just heartbreaking.”

The family were told that the NHS could only provide Luke with radiotherapy to give him a semblance of quality life.

According to the Brain Tumour Charity, only around 10 per cent of children with DIPG survive longer than two years. Jennifer said that every piece of vital medication her son has been prescribed in Mexico is not currently available on the NHS in the UK.

She added: “It’s absolutely incredible that people are still helping us.

“We’ve started a campaign to get 3,000 people to donate £5 each month which would cover Luke’s treatment and if we did small fundraisers in between that would cover the cost of our flights.”