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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Susie Beever & Keiran Fleming

Boy, 4, gets horror diagnosis after 'sore body' symptom following chicken pox

A mum has spoken of her heartbreak after her son's symptoms she thought were from chickenpox turned out to be cancer.

Calum Rae, four, had been complaining of ache and pain in the aftermath of the infection when he was taken to hospital, only to be given the devastating blow.

Doctors told the family that the four-year-old's symptoms were actually stemming from a tumour near his kidney.

Mum Victoria McDonald told how her son had caught chicken pox earlier this year in January, but when the sores began to fade Calum was still suffering with pain across his body.

But when the youngster developed night sweats, a high temperature and felt no longer able to walk, 33-year-old Victoria rushed him to the family's local hospital near Troon, South Ayrshire, and was left "numb" when she and partner Adam Ray were delivered the news.

A tumour was found above his kidney (Victoria MacDonald / SWNS)
Calum has maintained a positive attitude despite undergoing gruelling chemo (Victoria MacDonald / SWNS)

"When we took Calum there he was in an incredible amount of pain," he mum-of-two told Glasgow Live.

"He'd ask us to hold his neck, his stomach and back to help with the pain."

The tumour, which was located just above Calum's adrenal gland, led to a diagnosis of high risk neuroblastoma stage m which will likely return, even after chemotherapy.

"After the first cycle of chemo all the pain just seemed to go away," said Victoria.

"He has just finished cycle six and he has another two rounds.

"After that he needs to get surgery to remove the tumour if they can remove it, then he needs high dose chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant, which is when they can become incredibly unwell.

"The whole process will take 12 to 14 months."

The family were left speechless by the diagnosis at first (Victoria MacDonald / SWNS)

Victoria said Calum's attitude has been "amazing", and despite the gruelling chemo the youngster is still "wanting to play all the time", and is even learning to ride his first bike.

"Calum takes everything in his stride. He has never once questioned why he needs to go to hospital, he just gets on with it.

"He has just accepted that this is his life for now. Calum is so funny and he has charmed all the nurses and doctors, they all think he is adorable."

She added: "He is so young so luckily he doesn't understand the severity, we've just said there are germs in his body that are playing hide and seek.

"It helps that he is determined and strong willed. He won't take anything lying down."

The family are raising money to get Calum's cancer treated in New York (Victoria MacDonald / SWNS)
His parents raised the alarm when his chicken pox symptoms didn't clear up (Victoria MacDonald / SWNS)

Despite praising NHS staff, the family are currently raising funds for a clinical trial across the Pond that could stop the cancer returning in the future

She said: "The problem is that the cancer comes back. The survival rate over a five-year period is 40 per cent. If the cancer comes back it drops even lower.

"So we found this cancer centre in New York and they specialise in neuroblastoma trials and they are trying to find away to stop it coming back.

"After Calum is completely finished treatment, as long as he is completely disease free, he can go straight over and take part. It is seven vaccines throughout the year and then check ups.

The couple has already raised more than £38,000 - well over their £25k target - to give Calum the best fighting chance.

You can donate to the family's page here.

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