Published: 00:01, 14 February 2018
Just over a year after turning to alternative medicine for their desperately sick teenage son, his parents say he has defied all odds and is slowly showing signs of recovery.
Emma and Adrian Rafferty have rejected traditional treatments offered by hospital doctors who have repeatedly told them Jake will not survive.
At one time they brought the 14-year-old, the eldest of their five children, back to the family home in Britannia Close, Halling to die.
Jake, who was diagnosed five years ago after eight aggressive growths were found in his spine, is described as "an amazing fighter who refused to give in to his cruel illness".
Emma started to research unconventional cures and came across a dietary treatment used in the US, aimed at advanced cancer patients.
After numerous serious setbacks Jake, who is wheelchair-bound and paralysed from the waist down, is starting to regain some muscle movement.
He is now breathing unaided and, apart from anti-seizure pills, is off medication.
Remarkably, a recent MRI scan and vital blood test has shown his condition had stabilised.
Emma, 37, said: “They said they could not see any tumours in his brain and those in his spine had shrunk.
"The nurses said they normally expect patients in his condition just get sicker.
"They said whatever you are doing, carry on because it appears to be working.”
Jake, a Malling School pupil, is now having physiotherapy at home twice a week and goes to occupational therapy sessions at the specialist Stanmore Hospital in Middlesex.
Emma and Adrian, 50, a police officer, are fundraising for specialist equipment which helps with weight bearing movement.
They also hope to be able to afford a stunt wheelchair like the one used by his hero Aaron Fotheringham, a wheelchair athlete from America.
Emma said: “So far with consultation fees, private scans and import fees we have spent in excess of £25,000.
“We could not do what we are doing without the incredible generosity of friends and complete strangers.”
“This time next year he will be playing his X-box.
“Jake is pioneering the future for a cure for cancer.”
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