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Boy, six from Stalisfield, diagnosed with incurable brain tumour

The family of a six-year-old boy diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour say their world has been "turned upside down".

In September, doctors discovered that Eastling Primary School pupil Joe Ward-Bates has a DIPG tumour - a primary, high-grade brain tumour affecting children.

Joe Ward-Bates in King's College Hospital with the Lego sets he proudly built
Joe Ward-Bates in King's College Hospital with the Lego sets he proudly built

Since his diagnosis little Joe, who lives in Rigshill Road, Stalisfield, with mum Becky, dad Michael, and older sister Lucy, has been undergoing radiotherapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London in a bid to shrink the tumour that lies in the brain stem.

“This will help extend his life by about two-and-a-half months,” Joe’s uncle, Matthew Murray, said.

“This is not enough, especially not for a sweet, harmless six-year-old boy who has his whole life ahead of him.

“You just become helpless in this situation as you can’t stop it as much as you want to.

Joe with dad Michael, sister Lucy and mum Becky
Joe with dad Michael, sister Lucy and mum Becky

“Not only are you helpless, but hopeless as well as the statistics just stand up tall against you.

“The average lifespan is nine months after diagnosis and only 10% of children have made it to two years.”

Mr Murray organised a charity night to raise money to support Joe and his family, as well as for Abbie’s Army, a DIPG brain tumour research charity, and the Lion and Princess Elizabeth wards in King’s College Hospital.

Mr Murray added: “Joe stayed on the ward for two weeks and in that we found some of the most incredible and amazing nurses, who not only fully support and care for the children, but for the parents who stay there also.

“The ward collects donations to buy toys and treats for the children and some of the nurses were buying treats for Joe during his stay to just make his time a little bit easier.

"I can't think of anything else to do besides be there every day alongside my incredibly strong sister Becky, and Joe's father Michael, who is also being incredibly strong."

Featuring an auction, live music and entertainment from magicians Harry Nardi and Theo Mallalieu of Britian's Got Talent act 4MG, the fundraising night at Stalisfield Village Hall on Saturday raised more than £13,500, with about 260 people in attendance.

A fundraising evening raised raised more than £13,500
A fundraising evening raised raised more than £13,500

"It was an extremely overwhelming evening," Mr Murray said.

"Me and my sister Becky were left just speechless by the amount of support that was shown.

"The auction alone made £8,000, which was just amazing.

"I could honestly not be more grateful and thankful for everyone that contributed into making one of the most important evenings of my life so special."

A fundraising page set up to help Joe go on his dream holiday to Florida has been set up. To donate, click here

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