THE mother of a toddler who died of a brain tumour is fundraising in his memory.
Max Earley, an only child, was just two years old when he died from a malignant ‘ependymoma’ tumour in September last year after months of being poorly.
His mother, Caroline Earley, who lives in Dovedale Close, is raising cash for the The Brain Tumour Charity to help fund vital research. Her first event is a tabletop sale and tea party on Saturday, April 6.
“Max was such a lovely little boy,” said Caroline. “It is just such a shock.
“You never think it will happen to you, but it happened to us.”
Despite brain tumours being the leading cause of cancer deaths in children, not enough people are aware of the symptoms.
Diagnosis can take years, and it is sometimes too late; of those who survive, two-thirds are left with a significant disability.
Caroline is working with HeadSmart, a campaign which grew from concerns about the delayed diagnosis of brain tumours in children.
“I want to promote the symptoms to as many parents, schools and hospitals as possible,” said Caroline, who has been handing out HeadSmart symptom cards at the Harefield Children’s Centre and nearby GPs.
The credit-card sized guide lists the warning signs which include fits, persistent vomiting, headaches and abnormal eye movements.
Caroline says she hopes that awareness will grow like the meningitis campaign and one day ‘everyone in Britain’ will have a symptom card.
“Everyone knows to test for meningitis by rolling a glass on it. That’s saved lives,” said Caroline “and that’s what it should be like for brain tumours.”
She said she wants to do as much as she possibly can in the hope that someone else does not have to go through what she is going through.
“I want to feel like I am doing something good in his memory. I’m just trying my best to do something positive,” she said.
Nearly new baby clothes, toys and equipment will be available at the sale, as well as tea and cakes.
Caroline’s sale is from 11am to 3pm at St Mary’s Parish Hall, High Street, Harefield UB9 6BX. Entry is £1, children under 12 free.
Tables can be booked for £10 each via the children’s centre on 01895 671982. Make donations to www.justgiving.com/Caroline-Earley1