Josh's Story - iMRI Scanner Appeal

10 year-old Josh has spent almost half of his life at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

When he was just two years old, Josh was diagnosed with both hydrocephalus and a rare type of non-cancerous brain tumour called pilocytic astrocytoma.

The tumour – which was the size of a golf ball – was located at the back of his brain and affected his balance and co-ordination. In the years since his diagnosis, Josh has had three major brain surgeries at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The first was to drain a build-up of fluid from his brain, and the next two were to remove the tumour. However, an MRI scan done after the last operation showed that there was still a pea-sized mass left behind, so Josh underwent 18 months of chemotherapy to reduce its growth. His chemotherapy began just one month after the birth of his sister, Phoebe. Living with a brain tumour has had a profound impact on Josh’s life. He was only able to take his first steps at six years-old and uses a walking frame or a wheelchair to help him move around.

His hands are weak, he gets tired very easily and he has recently been diagnosed with both autism and post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet despite all of this Josh still attends school full time and is supporting this Appeal because he wants to help other children like him.

Josh’s mum, Lisa comments: “It’s been a long haul, but we are very grateful just to have Josh. This new suite of equipment for brain surgery at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital will make the world of difference to children like Josh, and his own journey would have been very different had the hospital had an iMRI scanner then. It sounds amazing. Getting every last bit of a tumour out, first time, would take an incredible weight off parents’ minds and save our children going through one scary operation after another.’’