A special fund raising event is to take place next month to support the family of a three-year-old Derry boy who has been diagnosed with the rare cancer Neuroblastoma.
Rhys Hume was diagnosed with the childhood cancer in October and is currently receiving chemotherapy at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
His mum, Pauline Campbell, said she is overwhelmed by the support her family has received since the diagnosis.
The fund raising night was organised by Rhys’s aunt to help the family out financially over the course of the three-year-old’s treatment.
“We have had unbelievable support. Derry is a very supportive place anyway but the amount of people responding, liking the Facebook page set up and coming along to the event is just fantastic,” Pauline told the ‘Journal’.
She said she is still reeling from the shock of the diagnosis and has never really had a chance to take it in.
“You always hear of things like this happening to other people, you never think it is going to come to your door.”
“Rhys is such a lively wee boy but before we found out what was wrong he was tired and looking to be carried everywhere. The GP referred him to Altnagelvin because it had been going on so long and they did a scan. They discovered a 14 centimetre mass above his right kidney.
“Within days we were transferred to Belfast and a treatment plan was put in place.”
This treatment plan includes chemotherapy, surgery, the removal of stem cells and radiotherapy. There is a long road ahead for Rhys but his family are hopeful of a good prognosis for the future.
At the moment Rhys receives chemotherapy every ten days and has to spend three days in hospital in Belfast afterwards. He is due to receive his next dose on Monday and Pauline hopes he will be out of hospital in time to spend Christmas with his twin brother Cein and two older sisters.
The travelling and expense of staying in Belfast with Rhys has put a huge financial burden on the family, with Pauline estimating she spends as much money in three days in Belfast as running her home for a week.
She also has to cope with Rhys being separated from his twin for the first time, as the risk of him catching everyday coughs and colds is too high.
“It has been hard on us all but Rhys has been doing well so far with the chemo. There are times that Cein cries because he can’t be with him and he always tells the nurses that come to visit to be nice to his wee brother.”
The fund raising night takes place in Pitchers Wine Bar and Restaurant on January 17. For more information go to www.facebook.com/raiseforrhys.