THE family of a young boy who has died after battling rare brain and spine tumours have paid tribute to their “little fighter”.
Jayden Nicol, eight, from Whitburn, West Lothian, was diagnosed with an ependymoma in 2014, a rare form of cancer which attacks the central nervous system.
The tumours were very aggressive but we knew we had a fighter. He always said he was ‘good’ when the medical people asked how he was.Jim McEwan
He underwent treatment at both the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and the Royal Marsden, in London, after his family initially took him to the doctors because he was being sick in the mornings.
A Facebook page called Just For Jayden was set up and managed to raise £50,000 in three weeks which allowed Jayden to be sent to Jacksonville, Florida, for pioneering proton treatment. Although it left Jayden in a wheelchair and in need of gruelling physiotherapy, he never complained about the pain.
Tragically, Jayden, was diagnosed with further tumours on his brain and spine and died in hospital with his mother Angela by his side last week.
Jayden’s funeral service was held on Wednesday at Whitburn South Parish Church and his grandfather, Jim McEwan, 68, spoke of his pride at the turnout for his brave grandson whom he described as a “superhero” who “brought a smile to everyone’s face”.
Mr McEwan, also from Whitburn, said: “The church was over capacity with more than 500 people turning up.
“Reverend Angus Kerr put on a really fantastic service and people have been calling me from all over to pay tribute. I think this shows how much he was loved. He was a really special boy. He made so many people happy and brought the whole community together.
“There were people of all ages there [at the funeral], right up to 60 and 70-year-olds, and the nurses and oncologists who treated him turned up, which says everything about his amazing personality.”
Mr McEwan also paid tribute to his grandson’s amazing strength and fighting attitude.
He said: “He had the brain tumour for two years and not once did he complain.
“The tumours were very aggressive but we knew we had a fighter. He always said he was ‘good’ when the medical people asked how he was.
“They told us right from Jayden’s first operation that if the pain was on a scale from 1 to ten, then it would be ten but he never showed it or complained.
The proud grandfather also spoke about Jayden’s mother’s amazing devotion.
He continued: “Angela never left his side. She put her job on hold for the two years to be with Jayden.
“She was provided a room by Clic Sargent to shower but that was it. After that she was straight back to Jayden.
“After the service yesterday, we raised £1710 which will be donated to wards two and seven at Clic Sargent as these were the wards on which Jayden was treated.
“To raise such an amount says everything about how strongly people felt for Jayden.”
To donate go to: https://www.facebook.com/justforjayden/timeline