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Remembering little Luke and bringing hope to sufferers of rare tumour.

Byline: Craig Thompson Health Reporter craig.thompson01@trinitymirror.com

NEVER to be forgotten - one little Tyneside boy's memory is set to live on forever.

During his lifetime Luke Collin's inspirational story touched the hearts of people across the North East as he bravely fought a rare brain tumour.

The tumour - known as a glioma - attacked Luke's optical nerve leading to him permanently losing his sight, facing agonising chemotherapy and in need of special-ised treatment in America.

The family, of Holystone, North Tyneside, began fundraising for the trip but, sadly, the fouryear lost his fight a year ago this week.

Today, with the help of family and friends, the youngster's parents will officially launch 'Luke's Life Legacy' in a bid to bring other glioma patients and their carers hope.

Mum Fiona, 40, said: "We want to keep Luke's memory alive but we also want to help other children.

"It's important we have more research into gliomas.

"One day a cure will be found, but it will be bittersweet for us because it didn't come in time for Luke."

Luke was first diagnosed with the tumour in July 2010 and immediately began chemotherapy. His condition was so severe that Fiona gave up her job as a teacher in Wallsend.

At the time, the Chronicle followed Luke's fight as doctors launched a race against time to save his sight. At just seven months old, Luke had already undergone chemotherapy in a bid to rid his body of the tumour.

But medics were unable to stop its growth and specialist surgeons opted against a highly complex operation in a bid to pre-vent him losing his sight.

Today, Fiona, married to Martin, 47, is hoping Luke's Life Legacy will also raise awareness of glioma tumours.

She said: "Because these types of tumours don't kill straight away, less is known about them and the research is not so widespread."

Money from the fund will also be used to invest in a property where families of children with the condition can stay while treatment takes place.

Fiona, also mum to Matthew, seven, added: "Sometimes there are families coming to the North East for treatment from across the country.

"Often they have to come back time and time again, and they need somewhere to stay."

Today's launch will see families walking from Holystone Primary School, where Luke was a pupil, to Rising Sun Country Park.

A "wellie-hunt" will take place in the woods before hundreds of balloons are released in memory of Luke at 11.30am.

Fiona added: "It was exactly a year ago on Thursday that Luke died.

"We have been thinking about doing something for a little while, so today is the chance to officially launch our fund."

WHAT IS GLIOMA? Glioma is a common type of primary brain tumour, accounting for about 33% of these tumours.

Gliomas originate in the glial cells in the brain. Glial cells are the tissue that surrounds and supports neurons in the brain.

These tumours arise from three different types of cells that are normally found in the brain: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and ependymal cells.

Gliomas are called intrinsic brain tumours because they reside within the substance of the brain and often intermix with normal brain tissue.

There are different grades of gliomas; however, they are most often referred to as "low-grade" or "highgrade" gliomas. The low or high grade designation reflects the growth potential and aggressiveness of the tumour.

There is no obvious cause of glioma. This type of brain tumour affects all ages, but is more common in adults. Gliomas are slightly more common in men than in women.

CAPTION(S):

Luke Collins from |Holystone, North Tyneside

Luke Collins |from Holystone, North Tyneside, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour as a baby, and is going into hospital for more surgery, with mum Fiona and brother Matthew
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 13, 2015
Words:638
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