A four-year-old has been given nine months to live after his ‘clumsiness’ was found to be caused by a deadly brain tumour.
Atticus Feduchin-Pate was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas - a rare high-grade brain tumour found in children - in July this year.
Atticus is currently taking part in a clinical trial and parents Blaize, 42, and Emily, 37, are trying to raise as much awareness as possible of their son’s condition.
A week before his diagnosis, Atticus was increasingly clumsy, struggling to balance and falling from his bike, which – alongside finding a 10 pence piece-sized lump on his head – prompted his parents to visit the doctors.
Despite finding the tumour almost immediately, parents Blaize and Emily received the heartbreaking news that their son might only have a matter of months left to live.
“We know our son, and he wasn’t acting normally, so we wanted to get it double-checked and that’s when we found out he had this deadly tumour,” Blaize, from Whitchurch, Hampshire, said. “When we were told it was a tumour, it broke our heart, but when we found out it was going to kill him, we couldn’t believe it.”
The tumour has grown in Atticus’ brain stem, so cannot be removed safely by surgery. His parents are now focusing on giving him “the best life possible”.
Just five days before Atticus was diagnosed, Blaize, a stay-at-home father, realised that his son was acting differently. When his clumsiness worsened, the family strove for answers as to what was wrong with their son.
“We took him to see his GP, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with him and just told us to keep an eye on him. When he continued to decline, we decided to call a paramedic and then Atticus was taken to the hospital to have further checks and he was given an MRI,” said Blaize. “The MRI showed the tumour in his head, and that’s when we realised what was making him so ‘clumsy’.”
The hardest part fo the news was learning their son’s life would be cut short. “We have been told he has up to two years to live, but that is likely to be the maximum, and obviously that destroyed us,” he said. “He is such a happy, well-spoken little boy and still doesn’t know the extent of what he’s going through – one day he can walk and the next he can’t, but he just thinks that’s how everyone’s life is.”
Atticus’ family are striving to give him the best life possible and hope that, by him partaking in clinical trials, he will be able to find a cure for other children in the future.
For now, Blaize says the family’s focus is creating fond memories with Atticus. “We are dreading the day that he passes, but we’ll find solace knowing that he has helped others in the future and he has had the best life he possibly can,” he said.