Monday, April 1, 2024

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma 4

Aubrey Rothery, 7, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor after his parents noticed he was having trouble with coordination and balance

A 7-year-old from the UK has been diagnosed with a rare form of an inoperable brain tumor — and its initial symptoms caused him to bump into things and lose his balance.

'It was very subtle to start with, he was bumping into bits of furniture,' Aubrey Rothery’s father, Andrew told SWNS, via The Daily Mail.

'He’d grown a lot and is quite gangly and lively and active and we thought he’s just not noticing where he’s going,” he told the outlet.

However, Aubrey’s loss of balance continued, even causing him to be sent home from school. His pediatrician advised the family to take him to the hospital — where he was diagnosed with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

It’s an aggressive, rare tumor that develops in the brainstem, and largely affects children, the National Library of Medicine says, adding that the prognosis for those with the tumor is grim.

“Most patients survive less than one year.”

IThe tumor may be linked to brain development, the National Library of Medicine says.

“Studies suggest that the disease process is created by particular cells that exist in very high concentrations, while the cerebral tissue is developing. This theory is supported by the fact that this tumor rarely occurs in adults and almost always occurs in mid-childhood (ages 5 to 10), a period in which the cerebral tissue is very active in development.”

His family was shocked to learn the news.

'It feels like in some ways like hope is the most important thing we have to hold on to — the diagnosis is harsh, and the prognosis is pretty bleak,” his father said, via The Daily Mail. 'We were just in pieces, it was an incredible shock.'”

“This can’t be happening to our beloved beautiful boy,” he told the outlet.

Treatment includes steroids and radiation treatment, which a GoFundMe set up for the family says Aubrey is currently undergoing.

“We hope [it] will slow or stop the growth of the tumour for between 6 - 18 months. This will give us time to find a treatment that can help over the longer term,” the GoFundMe says.

The family shared that they’re looking into alternate treatments, like drug trials, natural medication, and craniosacral therapy, which the Mayo Clinic says is a massage technique that aims to offer pain relief from cancer treatment.

“Aubrey’s Wish is simple – he just wants to get back to how life was before the 23rd of February,” when he was diagnosed, the GoFundMe says.

“He wants to be well, he wants to be able to walk un-aided, he wants to kick a football around and go to the playground with his brothers and sisters.”

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