The Spalding Guardian needs your help to make the life of a Deeping St Nicholas youngster and his family brighter and better for the future.
Kieran Taylor (seven) has the chance to undergo pioneering treatment for a rare brain tumour at a hospital in the USA.
Kieran deserves the chance to be able to have this treatment so that he can get back to being the normal little boy with the big personality that we have got to know so well since he joined St John’sPaul Reid, Head Teacher at St John’s Primary School, Spalding
Parents Karen and Steve Taylor will be taking Kieran for proton beam therapy to treat his craniopharyngioma thanks to funding by the NHS which is also meeting the family’s flight and accommodation costs for the trip.
But the family will have to find at least £10,000 for living costs, travel insurance, visas and the air fare for Kieran’s nine-year-old sister Caitlin.
The Guardian is supporting the family with a £500 donation from our Children’s Fund, but Kieran, Caitlin, who both attend St John’s Primary School, and their parents are hoping the people of South Holland will help them as well.
In addition, whilst Karen and Steve’s employers are happy for them to go with their son to the USA, they won’t be paid while they are out there.
Karen said: “Kieran started losing his eyesight last February when he could only see something that was directly in front of him.
“Then in March, Kieran started being sick so we went to see a paediatrician (children’s doctor) in April and he went for a scan at Peterborough City Hospital in May.
“Kieran was then transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where the doctors decided to do an operation to remove the tumour because the pressure of it behind Kieran’s eyes could have left him blind.
“They managed to get 95 per cent of the tumour out, but Kieran was left on medication for the rest of his life as his body can’t cope with stress.
“One minute Kieran’s fine but the next minute he’ll have an almighty outburst.
“Kieran has a sister who remembers when he was as a fun-loving child and now she keeps saying that she wants her younger brother back.”
Although benign (non-spreading), craniopharyngioma can cause sudden and unexpected changes in behaviour, eyesight problems, weight gain and growth difficulties.
Proton beam therapy, a type of radiotherapy used to destroy cancerous cells without damaging other parts of the body, is not yet available in the UK.
Karen said: “The doctors at Addenbrooke’s are worried that if the cancerous cells in Keiran’s brain are left there then he’ll need an operation every six to 12 months.
“However, the proton beam therapy will mean that Kieran won’t need an operation for ten to 20 years.
“We feel that this treatment will give Kieran his childhood back as he can go tumour-free for the next ten years.”
Paul Reid, Kieran’s head teacher at St John’s Primary School, said: “Kieran is a delightful pupil who, over the past few months, has demonstrated remarkable bravery and been an example to everyone.
“Even when faced with the difficulties he has because of his illness, Kieran is full of inquisitiveness and always has a lot to say for himself.
“Kieran deserves the chance to be able to have this treatment so that he can get back to being the normal little boy with the big personality that we have got to know so well since he joined St John’s.
“I really hope that Spalding Guardian readers will support this appeal so that his family are able to go to America and be with him, without having to worry too much about the financial cost of living in the USA while he undergoes treatment.”
• You can make donations by cash or cheque – to Lincs Free Press Children’s Fund. Send your donation to ‘Kieran Appeal’, Spalding Guardian, Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding PE11 1AB, or pop it into our recption, open 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday.