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Boy had tumour inside his neck.


A SCHOOLBOY was diagnosed with neck cancer after he struggled to put up his hand during class.

Taylor Ward, of Ellesmere Port, was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma when he was seven years old.

His mum, Sam Randles, said her son first complained of a pain in his neck in 2016, when they were play fighting and he threw a pillow.

She said: "We had just been messing about and he threw a pillow and he said his neck and arm was sore.

"I thought he had just pulled a muscle at first but then a few weeks later he said 'My arm is still sore and when I put my hand up in class I have to hold my arm up with my other arm.'.

"At this point, I thought it shouldn't still be sore and alarm bells were ringing, so I took him to the doctors."

However, while waiting for test results, Taylor's symptoms worsened and his mum took him to A&E where an MRI scan showed a large cancerous tumour was growing inside his neck.

Sam, 39, said: "He had limited mobility in his neck and arm at this point.

"The tumour was resting on his nerves and causing pressure which was causing the weakness in his arm.

"It all went quite quickly after that and we were a bit taken aback because before we knew it we were speaking with oncologists and on the neurological ward.

"You never for a minute think that your child is going to have cancer."

Taylor, now aged nine, began an intense course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and Sam said, despite how ill he was, and the fact he lost his hair, he didn't and still doesn't fully understand what cancer is.

She said: "I don't think he knows how serious it was and we don't want him to know really as we don't want him to be scared. But, if it had gone undiagnosed, I dread to think what could have happened.

"Thankfully, it hadn't spread and was localised to the left side of his neck."

For nine months, Taylor, who is a pupil at Our Lady Star of the Sea, underwent treatment at Alder Hey and his mum said their lives were turned upside down.

She said: "It was so unpredictable. "It felt like we were on a treadmill and we couldn't get off until the doctors said so.

"Our lives were not our own any more.

"When you are going through the treatment, you feel sort of as though you are in an alternate universe.

"Everyone else is getting up and going to work and children going to school and you are just sort of stuck in this surreal world in hospital.

"Taylor had to have a lot of time off from school but he was constantly getting cards and presents from friends, the school has been really accommodating of our situation."

Despite losing his hair and even having to have eight teeth removed during chemotherapy, Taylor continued to fight and amazingly last year he was given the all-clear.

Sam, an occupational health therapist, said: "He has been so brave.

"When he came to the end of his treatment, all the nurses crowded round as he rang the bell on the ward and he was given a certificate to say he was all clear.

"He went into school and got up in front of his class and was really proud of himself. We can see him coming on leaps and bounds now.

"He still has to have scans every three months and it is still quite difficult. It is always in the forefront of your mind, but we just take every day as it comes."

To celebrate his remission, Taylor, who loves the Titanic, is being treated by charity Make A Wish to a themed trip in March.

Sam said: "Make-AWish has given Taylor this incredible thing to look forward to.

"When we sat down to watch the film Titanic last year, he was enthralled - fascinated by the scale of the ship, heartbroken about all the people in third class who couldn't get out, and how brave the captain was to stay with his ship.

"His wish was to visit the Titanic Museum in Belfast - and we are even going to stay in the Titanic Hotel!"


Taylor Ward, 9 - given the all-clear ... and set for a special treat
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 13, 2018
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