West Sussex firefighters have shown their support for an Angmering boy who was one of the first NHS patients to receive proton beam therapy in the UK.
Mason Kettley, 15, is waiting to receive the results of his 28 treatments for a rare brain tumour at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, but his stepdad Ryan Baker says he is doing really well.
Ryan, a firefighter at Gatwick, organised a charity football match at Ferring Football Club on Sunday, with the help of Ferring Brazilian Masters Youth (FBMY), to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.
The family was then seen on BBC One on Monday night in Horizon, following the NHS team that brought proton beam therapy to the UK and Mason’s journey through treatment.
Ryan said: “He is looking really well. He was one of the first to receive the treatment in Manchester. From here, it is a bit of a waiting game. He is under the Royal Marsden in Sutton and they will be looking at how it has worked.
“He is so positive. As soon as we came back from Manchester, he wanted to go back to school. Obviously he has missed a lot, while we were in Manchester. The therapy really tires you out and for two weeks he was basically asleep but he went back and sat his mock GCSEs at The Angmering School.”
In the Horizon episode, The 250 Million Pound Cancer Cure, Mason and his family speak about their gratitude for the treatment.
Mason said: “I know it is very powerful and very accurate so hopefully it does take good effect.”
Gillian Whitfield, consultant clinical oncologist, had some good news five weeks into treatment. She said an MRI scan had shown Mason’s brain tumour was getting smaller, which was better than she had expected. She was hopeful it could be controlled long term and that Mason would be able to lead a full life.
The football match between Gatwick Fire Service and Worthing Fire Station was one of a number of events Mason’s family has arranged to raise money for charity.
Ryan explained they were keen to raise money for research into brain tumours and they planned to support a number of charities in the field.
Claudine Haydon, vice-chairman of FBMY, said: “FBMY were incredibly proud to take part and host this amazing event for a fantastic cause. We raised a total of £640 so far, of which we were able to donate £250 as a club, raised from the barbecue and bar takings.