Young cancer patient gets bravery award

A Lincolnshire toddler who is being treated for an inoperable brain tumour has had his courage recognised with a special award from Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens.

Sam Addison, who’s three and from Humberston, was diagnosed with astrocytoma just under a year ago. More than four out of ten brain tumours in children are astrocytomas and around 160 children are diagnosed with the disease each year in Britain.

Sam, who calls his tumour Naughty Bean, has had lots of tests, a biopsy on his brain and regular physiotherapy sessions to help with his movement – it’s painful for him to use his left arm or to walk far.

Now, for the bravery he has shown during his treatment, he has received Cancer Research UK’s Kids & Teens Star Award.

Sam’s dad Jon Addison, 34, nominated him for the award and says his son has never complained during treatment.

Jon said: “When Sam received the award, I explained to him that it was from his doctors for being so brave while in hospital, he loved it and was carrying it around for some time as he was proud of his little star.

“Sam is always happy to go to hospital letting them do bloods and other tests. He will bring a happy smile to all that he meets and loves running around as best he can in the ward looking for toys. We are very proud of him, he is our little fighter.”

Sam’s cancer was revealed when his parents noticed his left side was weaker than his right. At first they thought it might be due to problems at birth - Sam’s heart kept stopping and mum Anna, 34, had to have an emergency C-Section.

However a scan revealed a 5cm by 5cm mass on Sam’s brain. His parents were told it could be scarring from a stroke but a biopsy found it was far more serious – it was a cancerous tumour.

Further scans followed to see if the tumour grew.

Jon said: “At the most recent appointment they broke the news that his tumour is classed as inoperable, removing it would cause far too much damage and leave him with no quality of life, however they said he fits the criteria for Proton Therapy at the age of eight.

“We have been told to keep a close eye on him and watch for any new symptoms as he will start chemotherapy should it show signs of change.

“Sam’s left side is very weak and he very rarely uses his left hand. If he is poorly from a bug he falls down every other step. His wrist and ankle are beginning to seize up and cause him pain so he sees a physiotherapist and occupational health team frequently.

“After hospital appointments he asks us if they’ve taken away his naughty bean. He is too young to understand it all.”

Cancer Research UK is calling on the public to show their support for children with the disease by nominating a child for a Kids & Teens Star Award or helping to boost funds for research to beat children’s cancers sooner.

Danielle Glavin, Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens spokesperson for Lincolnshire,said: “Sam is a true ‘star’ who really deserves this accolade.

“Cancer has a devastating impact on children, forcing them to show an incredible bravery beyond their years. Treatment can last for months, or even years, meaning long stays in hospital away from siblings and friends.

“It is a privilege to be able to recognise the courage of youngsters like Sam. We hope to acknowledge the bravery of many more children across the county and are encouraging family and friends to get nominating now.”

  • Around 100 children are diagnosed with cancer in the East Midlands every year.

  • In the 1960s, around a quarter of children with cancer survived. Today, three quarters survive.