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Alfie's giant tumour agony.

Byline: Claire Elliot

DEVOTED mum Tracy Milne is hoping a cure can be found in time to save her four-year-old son, who has a deadly tumour spreading through his body.

Little Alfie is thought to be one of only three people in the UK to suffer from the rare condition lymphangiomatosis, which has left him with a growth so big surgeons are unable to remove it.

The benign tumour spans his entire right leg, pelvic area, bowel, spleen, part of his stomach, and is now spreading to his spine.

As a result, brave Alfie, from Peterculter, Aberdeen, is unable to walk and has to take a daily cocktail of drugs - including morphine - to combat the pain.

The tot is also given potent drugs and steroids every four weeks to help his blood clot or he will die from internal bleeding.

The condition is caused by a malformation of the lymphatic system, which affects the blood, bones and muscles. It has also left him with brittle bones. A fall from a chair is enough to leave him with broken limbs.

Tracy, 38, said: "It just breaks my heart to watch him and the worst thing is, there is nothing I can do to help. There is no medication that can cure him. It's all just trial and error.

"The mass is in his right leg and there is no beginning or end to it. It goes right up into his pelvic area, the spleen, part of his stomach, bowel and it's starting to spread to his spine. It's not something that can be removed and he's on constant pain killers every day. It can lie dormant or spread at a very rapid rate and there is no cure."

But she added: "Alfie's a bright little boy and quite a character - he's got to be strong to survive."

Tracy and her joiner husband Mark, 42, first noticed their son's leg appeared swollen at just six months old.

Last year, Alfie suffered internal bleeding and needed transfusions - but they didn't work because the tumour absorbed the blood.

Tracy, who has another son, Lewis, eight, said: "Mark and I were watching helplessly, trying to comfort our child as he could see blood pouring out of his chest. At this point I really thought we were going to lose him but he is a fighter and eventually the bleeding stopped."

The couple are now setting up a charity in Alfie's name to fund research into the condition.

Tracy plans to run a half marathon and meet up with another UK family affected by the condition to raise the profile of the illness.

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BRAVE J Alfie with Tracy. Right, in hospital
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 18, 2011
Words:447
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