Nearly £4,000 has been raised in two weeks for a Worthing family who discovered their 22-month-old son had a brain tumour just days before their second child was born.
Since Tommy was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma on April 14, his parents Becky Tapp and Todd Lednor have not left his side at Southampton Hospital, where he was rushed for urgent treatment the same day.
Just over a week later, Becky gave birth to Sofia at the same hospital.
Becky, 29, of Cotswold Close, said: “The whole situation is overwhelming, but Sofia is just such an angel.
“She’s amazing and Tommy adores her.”
Tommy is now on his fourth round of chemotherapy and responding well, but his prognosis is uncertain.
Becky said: “We are in limbo land, we are living day to day.”
She said the days following Tommy’s diagnoses were ‘such a blur’.
“It was so traumatic,” she said.
“You see these things on TV and you never think it’s going to happen to you. It’s just awful.”
Over the weeks on the ward, Becky said Tommy had got used to being in hospital.
“We’ve explained to him that we are staying at the doctors house until he gets better,” she said.
“I think he finds this normal now, he’s been here for so long.
“He doesn’t talk about home, though he talks about his cats.”
When he is feeling well, Tommy enjoys playing with therapy dogs on the ward, painting, drawing and playing with his toys.
Becky said: “His character is so beautiful, he has such a wonderful personality.
“He has melts the hearts of every single person he meets.”
Being around his new sister has helped too, Becky said.
“Sofia loves him, she always smiles at him and he gives her lots of cuddles when he’s feeling well. It’s so sweet,” she said.
A fundraising page set up to support the family by a friend two weeks ago has already raised £3,900.
Becky said: “We are so speechless. It’s so overwhelming how generous people can be. We’re so grateful.”
The family hope to put the funds towards looking into clinical trials and alternative medicines for Tommy, but it is too early in his treatment to start to look yet, Becky said.
“We have got a fair bit of the journey left to go,” she said. “We’re unsure of future treatment at the moment.”
They also hope to be able to fund a big family holiday for when Tommy is able to leave hospital.
Becky and Todd thanked everyone at the hospital for their support and Leucan, a charity which has given Tommy gifts and donations.
She also thanked the George and Dragon pub in Tarring, which is holding a fundraising football match on Sunday, August 26, at 10.30am to raise funds for Tommy.
Becky said: “We are truly grateful, words cannot express our gratitude.
“It unbelievable how kind and generous people are, in the cruel situation we are in, we are taking comfort in the support and love that is being shown to us.”
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/tommy039s-journey