Toddler returns home after life-saving treatment

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By Cara Sulieman

A TODDLER who suffers from a rare form of cancer has returned from the States where he was undergoing life-saving treatment.

Two-year-old Ross Anterton was diagnosed with a muscle cancer called orbital rhabdomyosarcoma last August.

The condition is so rare that it affects fewer than 60 children a year in the UK.

The tots parents – Andrew Anterton and Lesley Lauder – were told that the best chance for him was a new treatment called Proton Beam Therapy, which is not yet available in the UK.

They started a fundraising appeal and when the NHS agreed to pay £120,500, the family flew to the US in December to start a course of therapy at the Florida Proton Therapy Institute.

“Bittersweet”

Now back at home in Ormiston, East Lothian, the family will find out the next step for Ross next month when he had CT and MRI scans.

Ms Lauder wrote on the family’s blog – Give Ross a Future – about the effect the cancer has had on the family.

She wrote: “It’s very bittersweet. Having a child with cancer is an incredibly difficult thing to cope with and day-to-day living is tough (some days I don’t even understand how on earth we have managed to live through this).

“Being with people in the same situation or these people who see this often and understand a bit more helps a great deal – no-one could possibly have the slightest idea what we have been through to be here today.

“From the day we found out our 18-month-old-son had some cancer that we had never heard of before, having umpteen cycles of chemotherapy, infections, to today – having lived in the USA for the past eight weeks, to ensure our son gets the best possible treatment he can to give him a chance of a future.

“Something he wouldn’t have had without Proton.”

Future

And they are doing everything they can to raise awareness of the treatment and the benefits it can bring.

Ms Lauder added: “People need to know that this treatment exists and may be a better option for treatment than conventional radiotherapy.

“Especially for children, they deserve the best treatment possible, to give them the future we all take for granted.”

Acting and performance students from Queen Margaret University performed at Cockenzie Power Station – where Mr Anderton works – last Saturday to raise money for the Give Ross a Future appeal.

The concert was organised by Marion McNeill, head of singing at Queen Margaret University.

She said: “It’s important for Queen Margaret University to have a positive impact on the local community.

“This type of event allows us to use our skills and talents to benefit the people of East Lothian and improve quality of life.”

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