Hair brings hope as brave Ruddi Waterworth-Jones battles on
Dec 29 2009 by Sam Casey, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
THE family of one-year-old cancer sufferer Ruddi Waterworth-Jones had a simple Christmas wish.
The Longwood youngster has had a traumatic 10 months since he became the youngest Briton to be diagnosed with rhabdomysarcoma – a rare form of soft tissue cancer.
After spending months on a ward at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, he had to have his bladder and prostate removed because of a tumour growing on his prostate.
He is now with his mum Ali Jones (inset), dad Craig Waterworth and sister Ellys in the United States having specialist proton therapy.
The family spent Christmas Day in Jacksonville in Florida, where Ruddi is having treatment.
Ali, 38, said there was just one thing on her Christmas wish list.
“After he lost his hair during chemotherapy, all I wanted for Christmas was for his hair to grow back,” she said. “That’s starting to happen.
“It’s all soft and downy, his head feels like a peach and he has long, lovely eyelashes.”
Despite the successful operation to remove his tumour in the UK, Ruddi was sent to the US because doctors still have concern about two areas near his bowel where the cancer has a risk of returning.
He is the youngest person from this country to have been given the go-ahead for proton therapy.
The treatment, which involves firing a beam of protons at tumours so they receive a very high dose of radiation without damaging surrounding tissue, is far more accurate than conventional radiotherapy. It is not available in the UK.
Ruddi has to go to the hospital for 7.15am each day, where he is put to sleep for about an hour.
Most of that time is used to line his body up so that the beams hit the correct area.
But the treatment itself only lasts about three minutes.
The family have been told he will probably require 28 bouts of the treatment in total.