One never realizes how much a person’s life can change in one day until it actually happens! Our family and our lives changed forever on the 13th September 2009 when we learnt that our eldest son Marcus had a brainstem tumour. This is the worst kind of cancer –DIPG – the one that offers no hope, there is nothing! So as a parent you sit and listen to the professionals explain possible treatment plans all with the knowledge that there is no real long term survival plan for your child.
From quite early on Marcus began to lose his motor functions, his ability to speak, then walk and finally swallowing and breathing. He also suffered terribly from seizures.
Marcus was our first child after many years of trying to start a family, he was the one who gave us the belief that we could have a family, he sent us the gift of James and Simon that completed our family. Marcus wanted to grow up and be a “worker” like his dad. He was a determined little boy who knew what he wanted and did not want. He had a gorgeous smile and a gentle and warm heart.
As parents we made what we thought to be the best decision for our son, he came home and we cared for him. We did not choose to endeavour in a treatment plan as such, we chose a pain and comfort management plan. We were offered no hope, so he came home to play legos and watch Stars Wars and Superman with his two younger brothers and cuddle on the couch with his mum and dad.
The name Marcus means “warrior” and what a fight he put on. This was a little boy who would cry for anything and often needed cuddles. Yet here he was faced with an unbelievable battle and he did not shed a tear, he did not complain, he fought this battle bravely in silence. The strength Marcus displayed was something that we did not think our son was capable of. Marcus left us on the 15th November 2009, 9 weeks after diagnosis, surrounded by his family and friends, people who loved and adored him! Marcus left us with an incredible gift as we have donated his tumour to medical research with the hope and belief that one day there will be a cure for this incredibly cruel disease.
We must work together today to help find a cure!