Mum and Son launch Race for Life

A Chester mum whose son has a incurable brain tumor is urging people to run race for life this year to raise lots of cash for Cancer Research UK.

Debra Haywards son Michael, who lives in Hoole, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2002 when he was aged just five-years-old.

The youngster, who was a pupil at St Werburgh’s and St Columba’s Catholic Primary School at the time, had been regularly sick in the mornings for six months prior to the diagnosis and was struggling to walk without holding his mum’s hand.

When Michael, who has an older brother called Stephen, was diagnosed, he underwent immediate surgery which left him unable to talk for two months.

Michael, who is now aged 12, has never been able to walk since the surgery when he was five-years-old.

At the start of 2003, Michael began a gruelling course of chemotherapy for nine months at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

In September of the same year he received stem cell treatment and remained in remission until the end of 2005 when a scan showed the tumour had started to grow again.

Michael underwent radiotherapy treatment for three months in 2006 and was once again in remission.

However, by the end of 2007, the tumour was growing once again and doctors told his family nothing could be done to help him survive.

Brave Michael, who was left with development problems following the surgery he underwent as a five-year-old, has received palliative care for more than two years, with chemotherapy administered to him at home by his mum.

He attends Chester Catholic High School as often as his health allows him to and continues to amaze everyone who meets him by overcoming infections and remaining determined to enjoy life.

His mum Debra is keen to raise awareness of children’s brain tumours.

The 46-year-old raised an impressive £500 for Cancer Research UK last summer by taking part in Race for Life in the Wirral.

She will be guest of honour at Race for Life in Chester on Sunday June 13 when she kicks-off the countdown at 9am and starts the sounding horn to set-off the 5000 women expected to take part in the event.

To sign up to Race For Life Click here

Debra and Michael chat to Heart: listen