Ethan was a funny, caring, gorgeous, mischievous & cheeky little lad who lived for his football, loved school & loved entertaining everyone around him. At the age of 8 years old, on the 2nd December 2020, Ethan was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
He was a tough cookie, and very rarely complained, but at the end of October 2020, he was upset & complaining of a sore tooth. Away on holiday for the week, he didn’t eat as much as normal and just wasn’t himself. On 2nd November, at a dentist’s appointment, we were told Ethan had a tooth infection. The dentist scraped & capped the tooth, and we left thinking the problem was solved. A week later and Ethan still wasn’t right. We returned to the dentist and were given antibiotics. Another week passed and Ethan developed a lump in the roof of his mouth. The dentist thought an abscess had developed as a result of the infection and the tooth was removed. Following this, Ethan seemed to be getting worse and the the lump in the roof of his mouth hadn’t disappeared. We went back to an oral specialist and were quickly transferred to Sunderland Royal Hospital where they decided to drain the abscess. Following this procedure, it became apparent that the growth wasn’t an abscess, and we were sent for an emergency MRI. We were told the news that it was a benign tumour and discharged and told to expect a call from the RVI Hospital, Newcastle, within 2 weeks. The very next day, 26th November, we received a call from a consultant at the RVI, asking us to head to the A&E Department as soon as we could. On arriving at the hospital, our worlds crashed when we were told Ethan had an aggressive cancer and it was eating up through his skull and was pressing against his brain. Further tests and scans were needed to find the ‘name’ of his cancer, which would take about 10 days.
On the 2nd of December 2020 we were told Ethan had rhabdomyosarcoma. A large tumour was present in his face pushing through onto his brain. A large tumour was also found attached to his spine and traces also visible in his lungs & bone marrow. Ethan started his treatment immediately, and on the 18th December we were told it was embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, the lesser of two evils, and they thought they could shrink the tumours, BUT they weren’t sure they could stop it coming back due to the aggressive presentation of the cancer. Ethan faced a long road ahead with both chemotherapy and then radiotherapy in the fight to beat this horrible disease .