The shocked family of a five-year-old boy were given a devastating diagnosis after the ‘fit and healthy’ youngster fell over in a park.
Reid Scanlon was with his childminder on August 17 when he began to complain of stomach pains after taking a tumble. He was taken to an A&E in Cardiff where mum Alison was told Reid could have a problem with his spleen.
However, further tests at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital at University Hospital Wales revealed something far more disturbing. Doctors found a cancerous tumour the size of a grapefruit in Reid’s left kidney – and even worse news was to come.
The Wilms’ tumour, or nephroblastoma, in Reid’s left kidney was not the only cancer. He also had multiple smaller tumours in his right kidney – meaning he had a stage five Wilms’ tumour, where tumours are in both kidneys.
“It was just complete shock when they told us that,” said mum-of-four Alison. “He seemed to be a very fit and healthy young boy. He loves playing and being outdoors. He’s often wrestling with his older brothers.”
“It’s a blessing really for us that Reid fell over while playing in the park, because it caused some minor internal bleeding from the tumour and revealed the tumour. If Reid hadn’t fallen over, I think we’d have only realised he had the tumour because we would have been able to see it pushing his skin.”
Wilms’ tumours are most common in small children. The condition is normally painless, although they can bleed and there can also be blood in urine.
Reid is now due to start six weeks of chemotherapy treatment, in the hope his tumours will shrink enough so his kidneys can be operated on.
Alison told Wales Online: “The aim is to try and maintain some sort of kidney function for Reid because obviously he needs his kidneys.
“We’ve been told the condition could be to do with genetics and he could have been born with it. We found out the tumour in his left kidney had actually been growing for months. There were no signs at all and yet the mass in his left kidney is the size of a grapefruit.”
It’s been horrible. When you hear the word cancer you feel like it’s the end of the world and we’ve been very worried and we are worried. But the consultant has told us treatment is available for Reid and we’re hopeful it will work.”
Reid’s family has started an online fundraising campaign to support him through the treatment process. By this morning, it had raised more than£4,000 of a £7,000 target.