A “funny turn” at school ended in a devastating diagnosis for a five-year-old boy and his family.
Leo Middleton, from Scotland, was in a school class on November 26 when he began feeling poorly.
His concerned parents, Barry and Rebecca, took him to hospital to find out what was wrong – and got the worst news imaginable.
Young Leo had Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a fast-developing brain tumour that grows in the middle of the brain.
Doctors told Leo’s parents he had about eight months to live.
Now, friends of the family are crowdfunding to give Leo some memorable moments for the time he has left, including, they hope, a trip to Disneyland.
“2020 has been a pretty rough year for us all but unfortunately for our friends Barry and Becca it couldn’t get any worse,” JustGiving campaign organiser Charlene Hepburn wrote.
“We want to take as much financial burden off of Barry and Becca so they can enjoy the time they have with Leo as a family and hopefully be able to take him to Disneyland with his brother and sisters to have a holiday of a lifetime and make memories they can all cherish forever,” she wrote.
‘Loving, caring boy’
“Leo is the most loving, caring boy, his face lights up a room.
“He is so loved by anyone who knows him.
“Let’s all get together and give what we can to make the last months of his life amazing and let them have a Christmas to remember.”
The campaign has already raised more than AUD $33,000 of a $35,000 goal.
The Middleton family told The Daily Record they were “overwhelmed” by the generosity shown them.
“We’re so grateful for all the kindness and it means so much to the whole family,” Leo’s aunt Sarah Sim said.
“At the moment, it’s still raw, but we’ll decide all the things we want to do with him.
“We couldn’t believe it at first; you hear about things like this on TV, or happening to someone else, but you never imagine it happening to you.”
‘Keep kicking that ball’
The football club Leo’s older brother plays for, the Mintlaw Boys Club, has also taken to Facebook to raise awareness of Leo’s plight.
“Leo has been extremely brave and his love of football has helped in these difficult times for the family,” the club wrote, adding that Leo had been signed as a player.
“Thinking of you all, love from Mintlaw Boys Club,’ they wrote.
“Keep kicking that ball, Leo.”