8:38am Thursday 29th March 2012
By Cadisha Brown
TWO Stourport friends were dealt a “terrible coincidence” when their children were diagnosed with brain tumours within months of each other.
Cliona Snow and Kathryn Kehoe never thought it could be possible for them to have children, who attend the same school and live in the same town, who suffer from brain tumours.
The parents are now trying to raise awareness of the symptoms and are also raising cash for a specialist intra-operative MRI scanner for Birming-ham Children’s Hospital, which treated the youngsters.
Mrs Kehoe’s son Joey, 6, was the first to be diagnosed with a malignant tumour in 2010 and was in the middle of his treatment when Maisie Snow, 7, was struck with a benign tumour 10 months later.
The youngsters, who both attend St Wulstan’s Catholic Primary, had the same symptoms– a lack of co-ordination and headaches at night – but the heartbreaking news still came as a shock to their parents.
“It was a shock when Joey was diagnosed because he had only been unwell for a few weeks,” said Mrs Kehoe, 45.
“I couldn’t actually believe it. I was like ‘this isn’t really happening to me’.”
For Mrs Snow, Maisie’s diagnosis also came “out of the blue” and was “extremely traumatic”.
Mrs Snow explained: “She was a perfectly normal child – healthy, never been in hospital, hardly even visited the doctor. For me it was a life-saver, going through it with a friend.”
The children both had to have long and extensive surgery to remove their tumours, while Joey also had to have a course of chemo and radiotherapy.
They are now recovering from their ordeals and have returned to school full-time.
“Maisie’s participating in games,” Mrs Snow explained. “She’s swimming and doing Irish dancing. She’s just amazing.”
Mrs Kehoe added: “Joey is an absolute superstar. To look at him now you can’t believe what he’s gone through.”
She went on: “To get two children in the same school, in the same town, diagnosed is just a terrible coincidence.”
Mrs Snow has now set up a web page -justgiving.com/maisie-snow – to raise cash for the scanner, which would allow the hospital to remove children’s tumours while in theatre.
“The scanner would be specifically for kids who have had neurosurgery,” she explained.
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