Five-year-old cancer survivor races to glory at Herts County Show
- Credit: Simon Moggridge/SBM Photographic
He may not have been the fastest competitor but five-year-old Tommy Lines was certainly the bravest after the lad, in remission from brain cancer, took part in a race at the recent Herts County Show.
Tommy, whose grandparents Keith and Mary Smart live in Harpenden, took centre stage in the ‘Hurry’ Scurry driving pony race in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee arena in front of 3,000 visitors at the 130th show, which took place in Redbourn from on the bank holiday weekend.
Mike Harman, general manager of the mammoth event, of which Tommy’s grandmother is assistant show secretary, said that the boy was awarded a special cup and donated his £150 shared prize money to Brain Tumour Research.
Eveey Hunter of Shenley, the competition timed winner and youngest adult competitor, donated her £150 prize money to the Isobel Hospice.
Five-year-old Tommy was diagnosed with a very rare, golf ball-sized brain tumour at the age of two, after parents Lisa and Paul spent a year persuading their local hospital to carry out a MRI scan to find the cause of his visual impairment (Nystagmus), which he had developed at just three months of age.
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The boy underwent two successful six-hour brain surgeries in 2014 to remove the tumour. Unfortunately it grew back six months later, so he had to undergo major brain surgery yet again.
But, his parents were then told the devastating news that Tommy had a grade four, inoperable aggressive brain tumour.
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He was sent to America last summer for 10 weeks of proton beam therapy treatment, funded by the NHS, which was followed by four months of high dose chemotherapy treatment. He is now in remission and back to full fitness.
He will be scanned every three months for the next five years.
Despite all he has been through Tommy, from Milton Keynes, who enjoys kicking a football with his friends, is described by his doting parents and grandparents as happy and full of energy.
On his Facebook appeal page, his mum said after the scurry competition that Tommy was “very proud of his trophy and loved the whole experience, and he made us very proud”.