Bradley Marshall 'feels amazing' after latest scan shows his tumour has shrunk
THE family of an 11-year-old boy battling cancer have been told a tumour at the base of his spine has shrunk.
Bradley Marshall was flown to the US for pioneering treatment and spent nine weeks at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute.
Now, doctors in Leeds have told his family the tumour has shrunk.
His mother, Dawn, of Bridlington, said: "We are ecstatic the tumour has shrunk slightly.
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"We were told it was not the type of tumour to shrink.
"They believe things are just settling down again after the intense treatment and that is why it has shrunk.
"We don't care, as we had gone to the appointment hoping they would tell us there had been no change in the tumour."
The family have twice been dealt major blows about Bradley's tumour
The cancer – myxopapillary ependymoma – was discovered in February 2010.
Although an operation in Leeds removed 90 per cent of the tumour, it started growing back just nine weeks later.
Bradley had a second operation in May but, weeks later, the tumour grew back again.
Instead of waiting for further surgery, it was decided to send him to America for proton therapy.
His parents took this decision in the belief it would minimise the risk of any side effects in the future.
Mrs Marshall, 48, said: "There is always a fear going into these scans and it will take a lot of convincing before there isn't.
"Family life is back to normal, apart from the scans every six months.
"Life is like it used to be before."
Bradley started secondary school at Scarborough College last summer.
Dawn said: "He's doing brilliantly at school and is really settling back into life.
"I think Bradley has forgotten about all the treatment and is just wanting to crack on.
"As well as enjoying his school life, he is playing football for Bridlington Rangers Rhinos and hockey. He is still playing a lot of golf and last year managed to get his handicap down from 54 to 34."
Initially, the family were told there was only a 10 per cent chance of the treatment being funded by the NHS.
This sparked a £130,000 fundraising campaign led by the Kids n Cancer UK charity, which included a massive collection of old clothes, donated by pupils throughout the East Riding.
In the end, the NHS agreed to fund the treatment and the money is being used to help other young people suffering from cancer.
Dawn said: "We are still doing fundraising for the charity and we recently spoke at a fundraiser in Chesterfield.
"Bradley was asked how he was feeling now. He said he felt amazing and feels normal again."