The worried parents of a young boy who thought he had a ‘stiff leg’ due to too much gaming were left horrified to learn he had an extremely rare type of cancer.
Jack Hansen, nine, suddenly fell unwell earlier this year after complaining of a stiff leg, and being sick before school.
However, his parents put the symptoms down to him playing on his consoles far too much.
After many complaints, Jack’s parents took him to A&E. At the hospital in Barton, the little boy underwent a number of scans – where it was shockingly revealed he had a brain tumour.
He was immediately rushed to Leeds Hospital, where more scans were carried out and further tumours were discovered down Jack’s spine, Daily Record reports.
In April, Jack endured a 15-hour procedure, where the tumours were removed. However, this was just the beginning of Jack’s illness.
Hearing the bad news, mum Becky Hansen, was told that Jack may have something called Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) – a condition that causes tumours to grow along your nerves, Hull Live reports.
The illness is very rare in children, with only three people his age ever having been recorded to have NF2 that is cancerous.
A close friend, Rachel Williams, states that it has been an incredibly stressful time for the family who are now struggling to make ends meet.
She explained: “In March, Jack complained of having a stiff leg, but we put it down to him gaming too much and sitting on his leg. However, in the following weeks, he began dragging his leg and holding himself funny.
“He then began feeling ill and started being sick before going to school, that was the first serious sign that something wasn’t right. After this continued, Becky decided to try and get an appointment, but was told by the nurse that it wasn’t classed as an emergency.
“However, both of us felt something still wasn’t right so we decided to take him to A&E that evening. He’s normally charging about, but he was struggling to grab anything and was unsteady on his feet.”
After arriving in A&E, Rachel says everything was a bit of a whirlwind.
The pal said: “Jack had an MRI and a CT scan and was told he had a brain tumour by 9.30am the next morning. Everything was up in the air at that point and he was transferred to Leeds where we discovered he had more tumours in his spine too.” The following week, Jack had a 15 hour operation to remove the tumours and has been recovering since.
And life hasn’t been easy for mum Becky who has had to stop working to care for Jack. Rachel said Becky’s world has been turned upside down as a result of everything.
According to the family, there are only three children, including Jack, that have ever had this illness.
However, with no research, doctors are unsure of what the best treatment will be for the young boy. Unfortunately, the two other children to have had the illness passed away and whilst some treatment keeps it at bay, there is as of yet no cure.
Rachel said: “It’s just a waiting game now to see what can be done. Normally people in their 20s or 30s are the ones who suffer with NF2.” She added: “It’s awful, no one knows if he’ll even survive.
“People can live a long life with NF2, but with it being cancerous nobody is quite sure.”
She added: “The illness plays on Becky’s mind as, to the naked eye, Jack looks like a fit and healthy young boy, but the fear of the unknown is making things that bit harder.”
The family have had to cancel their holiday as a result with Jack being deemed unfit to fly, which has made life even more stressful. However, Rachel has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family cope during this difficult period.