A two-year-old boy has had to learn to walk again after an adverse reaction to his cancer treatment meant he lost muscle mass in his legs. Max Kirk is currently undergoing treatment for a rare cancer called bilateral Wilms tumours.
He was diagnosed with the rare illness on his second birthday in December. Since then he has undergone extensive treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, including chemotherapy.
It was an adverse reaction to the chemotherapy that impacted on his liver function, meaning he was laid up for three weeks. This resulted in him having to learn to walk again earlier this year due to losing muscle mass in his legs, reports CheshireLive.
Since his initial diagnoses, Max has been in and out of hospital. And on March 17, he underwent a nine-hour surgery at Alder Hey to remove the cancerous tumours, as well as one whole kidney and two-thirds of the other.
He is now back home and is going to Clatterbridge Hospital on the Wirral every day for radiotherapy treatment, for which he has to have a general anaesthetic due to his age. He will also have more chemotherapy treatment.
Now, members of Deeside Ramblers Hockey Club near Tarporley, Cheshire, where Max’s dad Andy has been a member since he was a child, are preparing to put their stamina to the test with an arduous dawn until dusk hockey match to raise funds for the hospital and also for the club. They will be supported by younger and older club members to help keep their spirits and energy levels up.
Max’s mum Sara said: “It’s been a bit of a turbulent few months but we are doing okay at the moment. Max is home and we are back and to from the hospital quite a bit for appointments and treatment. He is coping with it remarkably well, to be honest. He has his good weeks and not so good weeks. It’s a bit up and down.
“He is in the middle of a 14-day stint of radiotherapy at the moment. That’s starting to make him feel a bit rotten, but he’s doing well on the whole. Hopefully he will be making an appearance at the match for a little bit, if he is feeling okay. I don’t know where to start in terms of the support Alder Hey have given us. They have supported us right from the get-go. They have done wonders for him and we can’t thank them enough.
“We’ve got a long way to go but we are reassured that Max is getting the best care possible. We have got to keep going, day by day and week by week and trying not to think too far ahead. We are just glad to be able to do something that might help other families who are potentially in this situation. We are grateful for everybody’s support. Saturday should be a good day.”
Max’s dad Andy added: “I am excited to be part of this event that is raising money for two important causes in my life. One of them from as soon as I could pick up a stick and the other being Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.”
All proceeds from the hockey match, which takes place from 5am-9pm on Saturday, May 21, will be split between Alder Hey Children’s Hospital’s oncology unit and the hockey club. Deeside Ramblers community officer Beth Alvey said: “We were planning a fundraising day towards our new pitch floodlights when we heard about Max and everything he and his parents are going through.
“We pride ourselves on being a family hockey club and just wanted to do something to help and show our support to friends who have been part of our club for years, so we have decided to donate half of the money we raise from the game to Alder Hey to support the incredible things they do there. This is going to be a single, non-stop game from dawn to dusk and we will have players of all ages playing throughout the day, including several generations from the same families.”
The match begins at first light on Saturday, May 21 at the Deeside Ramblers ground at the Gardenhurst estate, Whitchurch Road, Tiverton, and will continue until 9pm. Spectators are welcome to come along to support the team and anyone wishing to contribute to the fundraiser can do so via https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/deesideramblers-hockeyclub.