Brave Luke returns home after tumour treatment in Mexico
The family of a terminally ill boy were treated to a heroes welcome after returning from Mexico for a pioneering treatment they hope will prolong his life.
Jennifer Ure Stewart and her husband Mark travelled to the Monterrey Vale Oriente hospital in May with their three young boys, including eldest child Luke, who is suffering from a rare aggressive brain tumour.
And the brave seven-year-old, who is back just in time to start school on Wednesday, was greeted by well wishers at the airport and at their home in Tranent.
Mum Jennifer said coming home had been surreal and a moment she would “cherish forever”.
She said: “It’s still feels very strange, surreal to be home.
“We need to settle back into a more normal life (if you can call it that), I need to remain strong for everything that is still happening and will continue to do so.”
The family, who will return to Mexico in two weeks for a further course of Intra-Arterial (IA) chemotherapy treatment, desperately need to hit their fundraising target of at least £350,000 as their money will run out in November.
The experimental treatment costs initially £70,000 for the basic operation, then £8,000 for a first infusion and then a further £8,000 every three weeks until the tumour shrinks
Jennifer added: “Thank you so much everyone for keeping us going in Mexico it’s been a long time.
“Next stage is we’re back two weeks on Friday for Luke’s 7th IA and we will be doing these treatments every four weeks in the near future.
“Luke’s scans get reviewed each time we do his IA so we are giving him the best possible treatments.”
“Please keep our boy on track with these amazing treatments.”
Friends, family and the local community have rallied to help the Stewarts.
An incredible £177,000 has been raised so far for the ongoing treatment which is not currently available on the NHS.
Luke has moved past the six-month life expectancy he was given in January after he was diagnosed with the Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG) tumour .
And Jennifer said Luke’s quality of life has improved and he is able to run, swim and play a computer after experimental treatment saw his brain tumour shrink by 40 per cent.
To boost the ongoing drive to raise funds which will help the family cover medical expenses and living costs when it Mexico, a fundraiser ball will be held on September 23 at Prestonfield House.
Hosted by STV’s Zara Janjua, the night will include a drinks reception, three course meal, an auction and entertainment. For tickets, email [email protected]
And donate directly www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ALLHELPLUKE