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How internet research and alternative medicine put seriously ill youngster on road to recovery.

Byline: Madeleine Brindley Health Editor

WITH 11 tumours spread throughout his body, Connah Broom was told by doctors there was nothing more they could do to fight his cancer.

But almost two years later, after his grandparents started treating the brave seven-year-old, 10 of those tumours are shrinking.

The Broom family turned to alternative therapies for help, including a form of Mexican light therapy, reiki and an organic diet, in a bid to beat the neuroblastoma, which had ravaged Connah's small body for years.

Doctors have been amazed by Connah's improved health and energy, admitting something "beyond the knowledge of modern medicine" is keeping him alive.

Diagnosed with neuroblastoma three years ago, Connah - who lives with his 27-year-old father Chris, who works as a chef, and grandparents Debbie and Jim in Gronant, Flintshire - had tumours stretching from his neck, through his chest and stomach and in his left leg.

Mrs Broom, 53, said: "They told us Connah had 11 tumours which were at the most advanced and aggressive stage. It was like a bolt out of the blue."

Connah underwent two courses of chemotherapy over a seven-month period until March 2007. Just months later experts at Liverpool's Alder Hey Hospital said surgery was not possible.

"A doctor told us to take Connah home and enjoy our time with him because it was our honeymoon period," Mrs Broom said.

"We were never given a time period, but it was intimated it would not be very long."

Connah was given the option of treatment withanew drug called Topotekan, but there was just a 50% chance he would survive the treatment and only a 20% chance it would kill the cancer.

Instead the family started a worldwide search for alternative therapies to help Connah.

Mrs Broom said: "When Connah was undergoing chemotherapy, we did some internet research and decided an organic diet and filtering all his water would help reduce the harmful toxins.

"Once we did this Connah stopped becoming ill. We found keeping his mind on other things helped, so we kept him busy with reading, writing, puzzles and energetic games."

The family set up an appeal fund and 56-year-old grandfather Jim went back to work for an oil company to raise money for Connah's medical needs and to pay for Sono Photo-Dynamic therapy (SPDT), at the Hope4Cancer Institute in Tijuana, Mexico.

Mrs Broom said: "This type of therapy harks back to old remedies and traditional ways of fighting cancer. It has been researched since 1903 but has never been taken on by mainstream medicine."

The therapy uses a chemical, or photosensitising agent - in Connah's case a capsule containing algae - which attaches itself to cancer cells.

Under certain light and sound wavelengths, the agent is activated and creates a powerful oxidant to attack and kill the cancer.

Mr and Mrs Broom have built their own SPDT equipment at home - it resembles a sunbed - and Connah now undergoes a two-and-a-half hour session every evening, followed by 15 minutes in a full-body sauna to sweat out any toxins.

Mrs Broom added: "I'm sure keeping a positive attitude helps.

"Connah has never had chance to think about being ill or seen us looking down or upset. We've always kept him busy, rather than treating him like a sick child who needs a lot of rest.

"He's full of energy and is just like any other boy his age."

Dr Eamon Jessop, Connah's GP, said: "There are still many things in medicine we don't yet know or understand. Looking at Connah and seeing the healthy, lively boy he is now, is something we can't explain. With the extent of tumours he has, we would not expect him to be doing this well.

"When it was decided two years ago that his tumours were inoperable, we would have expected just a short time before he became very ill. But sometimes unexplainable things can happen that we have to call a miracle."


POSITIVE ENERGY: Connah Broom today, above, and below while he was in hospital. Bottom, with grandparents Debbie and Jim who never gave up hope of his recovery
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 7, 2009
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