Tributes have been paid to Waringstown youngster Cameron Truesdale who lost his brave battle with a brain tumour last night (Wednesday, September 6).
Cameron who turned 13 in April, has been battling a highly aggressive brain tumour for the past 20-months,
Local Councillor Mark Baxter said: “It is just horrendous news. Cameron was a real fighter who battled to the end. Please keep the family in your prayers.”
Cameron’s battle inspired people across Northern Ireland and, indeed, across the world as a fundraising campaign was launched to help fund his treatment as part of a clinical trial in Mexico.
For a time it appeared the treatment was bearing fruit - with his mum Cassandra Finnegan describing it as a world breakthrough earlier this year. Click here.
Unfortunately over the following months his condition worsened until just a few weeks ago the family warned ‘his journey was near over’.
A family statement said this morning: “Wednesday evening a piece of our heart was taken and carried to heaven.
“Cameron passed away surrounded by his family.
“He fought with all his might for 20 months after we where given nine months. He did this with more courage and strength than we will ever know.”
His battle began in January 2017 when the youngster was diagnosed with an inoperable Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma also known as ‘DIPG’ which is the second most common type of primary, high grade brain tumour in children.
While the outlook was grim his family refused to give up and they discovered a pioneering treatment in Mexico.
In September last year they travelled from their home in Waringstown near Lurgan to Mexico in a bid to save his life.
Speaking at that time Cameron’s mum Cassandra said: “We looked online and in support groups for this illness and found a treatment in Monteray City in Mexico.”
It also saw the launch of a tireless fundraising campaign to help raise the £300,000.
As Mexico City reeled from a massive earthquake the family embarked on a huge trek to south America with high hopes for the Brownlow Integrated College pupil.
It was in 2016, just months after Cameron started at Brownlow Integrated College, that Cassandra noticed a change in her son.
Again speaking in September last year, she said: “Last November we noticed his speech a little slurred and he had headaches.
“It was in January this year we took him to Craigavon Hospital. He was given a CT scan at 11.30am and by 4pm we were told by doctors that there was no treatment.”
Mum Cassandra, her four children including Chloe, Courtney and Caitlin, her husband David Finnegan and Cameron’s father Hammy Truesdale all made that first trip to Mexico - they carried with them the hopes and prayers not only of their neighbours in Waringstown but people across Northern Ireland.
The support the family received was phenomenal with a variety of fundraisers raising over £100,000.