Wigan parents make desperate plea after son's cancer diagnosis

A Wigan community is rallying round the parents of a boy who have been given the devastating news that he has cancer.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 7:00 am
Mark and Emma Foster with Bailey and Arthur

Mark and Emma Foster were told Bailey had Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma after he had been ill for a number of weeks.

The Ince 13-year-old has also been diagnosed with HLH which is a disease within the bone marrow and can be life-threatening.

Young Bailey has endured a difficult life as it is, suffering from septo-optic dysplasia, known also as de Morsier syndrome. A rare congenital malformation, it features a combination of the underdevelopment of the of the optic nerve, pituitary gland dysfunction, and absence of part of the brain. He is blind, has growth and hormone deficiencies and complex learning difficulties.

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Mark, 33, said the last year had been “tough” for the family.

He said: “We found a swollen gland in the groin which spread to the spleen. So Bailey had tests and scans and it come back with the cancer diagnosis. He also has a secondary condition, HLH, which is a disease within the bone marrow.

“Bailey has spent the last three weeks in hospital and is a bit better now. He sleeps a lot of the time and when he was really poorly he had a severe rash everywhere.”

He has been at Manchester Children’s Hospital for several weeks now, first being in its high dependency unit and now on the oncology ward to start chemotherapy which will last at least six months.

Mark said: “We’ve been told it’s treatable and we’re taking it day by day. We’ll be seeing how Bailey responds now and then there will be a review on a couple of months of his treatment. Bailey is a tough child and very brave and we’re just trying to stay positive.”

When Bailey become unwell, Mark said he was due to start a new job but has been unable to do this as he is beside his son every single day as well as Emma.

During her maternitiy leave for Bailey’s baby brother Arthur, 32-year-old Emma, who is Bailey’s stepmum, was also made redundant, and with him being ill they are both unable to work as he is their main priority.

The couple are also having to travel to and from the hospital while having to continue paying bills.

So their friend Shanice Ingham has set up a GoFund Me page which has already raised more than £3,000 towards a £4,000 target.

Mark said: “I’ve been staying at the Ronald McDonald House at the hospital and Emma will be making stays as well.

“We’re very thankful to Shanice for setting up the page and those who have raised money.

“If people can donate any more money, we’d be very grateful.”

To make a contribution search for ‘Help Support the Foster family’ on GoFundMe.

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