A mum has revealed her heartache after her eight-year-old cancer-stricken boy told her ‘I don’t want to live anymore’.
Ewa Sitkowska needs to raise £200,000 for treatment not funded by the NHS to save son Cristiano, who has been battling a rare aggressive cancer called Embryonal Rhabdomysosarcoma since January 2016.
Brave Cristiano, from Huddersfield, has had to undergo non-stop treatment for the tumour, including a nine-week course of Proton Beam therapy in Oklahoma, USA.
Devastatingly, the treatment was unsuccessful and after just 10 days in the States, Cristiano’s tumour doubled in size.
Ewa said: “That was a massive shock for us and the first time I saw fear in Cristiano’s eyes. We were back at the beginning of the battle.”
The youngster was put on a gruelling regime of chemotherapy and 31 sessions of a high dose of radiotherapy, leaving him in pain and in tears.
Ewa said: “The right side of his face, throat, cheek and inside his mouth were burned from radiotherapy. At this time Cristiano stopped eating, so he had one more surgery to put in a PEG tube.
“By the end of radiotherapy the inside of his mouth, throat and upper side of his face were bleeding, scarred and painful, at that time he said to me, ‘I dont want to live anymore!’.
“It is last thing a parent wants to hear from a child.”
Ewa, who also has a younger son, Oscar, has now set up a Go Fund Me page to raise cash for another batch of treatment in Houston, Texas, after the cancer returned with aggression.
Following the radiotherapy, the family were initially relieved to see signs the tumour was going down and some of the cancer cells were dying.
Cristiano even managed to go back to school in September and regain his smile.
Ewa said: “Everyday we saw a big smile in his face, until the end of October, when our enemy came back.
“An MRI scan showed the tumor was growing back again and more aggressively than ever before, it was at this time doctors told us the only thing the NHS can offer is palliative care, there’s no other treatment available.
“Cristiano fell into pieces, everyday he looks in the mirror, cuddles up with me crying. I feel so powerless.
“For the last few months our beautiful little boy has been at home under palliative care, the tumour is still growing and pushing his right eye out.
“The only thing the NHS can suggest is to remove his eye to help make him more comfortable, Cristiano is terrified of this.
“We love him so much! We are not ready to lose him and we know that he wants to live.
“Where there’s life, there’s hope!”
The family are determined to carry on battling the illness and have been told that Cristiano would be a good candidate for treatment at the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, where a ground breaking form of treatment called Antineoplaston therapy has previously saved people’s lives.
The full treatment could cost as much as £200,000, and is not covered by the NHS.
Ewa said: “We don’t have the financial means to cover this treatment but we believe in great-hearted people.
“We are begging for help.
“Help us so our son Oscar can grow by his older brother’s side.
“Help us make Cristiano smile again.”