A “little fighter” from Porthleven remains in hospital this week as he continues to receive treatment for a brain tumour.
Three-year-old Riley Williams was only diagnosed at the end of December and, aside from a brief return home for Christmas, has been staying in Bristol ever since, moving between Frenchay Hospital and Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Surgery at the beginning of January successfully removed the tumour, but Riley and his parents Jason Williams and Becca Frew were given the blow that it was cancerous.
It had been hoped that Riley would be able to receive proton therapy in the USA and the youngster’s friends and family have been fundraising towards his parents’ living costs while abroad, as well as pay for an air fare for his ten-month-old brother Nathan.
In the last few days, however, the family has been told that Riley is just not well enough to travel. The decision has been taken for him to remain in Bristol for another nine weeks and instead receive radiotherapy.
Despite the change of plan the fundraising continues, as supporters now want to pay for Jason and Becca’s expenses as well make Riley’s time in hospital as comfortable as possible. It is hoped he will also be well enough to enjoy some days out with his family, in between treatment.
Riley’s great aunt, Angie Burnett, said: “It is likely that Riley will need long term care but we are taking every day as it comes.
“Riley has had difficulty breathing, due to the effects of swelling from the operation and one of Riley's vocal cords has been damaged and he will need speech therapy. He is now able to go in a wheelchair and has managed a few steps and a few paintings. “Riley has had a chest infection and flu, but remains a little fighter.”
Angie and Philippa Mifflin, who is best friends with Becca, have been leading the fundraising after meeting for the first time at a meeting to discuss possible events.
Since then they have organised a children’s fun day and various online auctions on Facebook, of items donated by members of the public.
On Saturday the latest event took place at Helston’s Godolphin Club, featuring a mini fashion show of dresses supplied by the Bridal Studio in town, a raffle and music courtesy of live band Must Hang Sally followed by a disco from The Gambler.
Riley’s uncle and aunt, Sam and Kristina Faulkner, were a topless waiter and French maid for the evening delivering drinks to guests.
The evening raised £818.50, which added to the other fundraising brings the total so far to around £2,500 raised in less than three months.
Angie said: “We want to thank people for their ongoing support. People have been amazing – I’ve had phone calls from strangers and collected items from them.”
To donate money or support email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Angie on 07731 431430, evenings only.