'I wish I hadn't worked as much and was home more' - Dad's heartbreak as son (12) diagnosed with brain tumour
The heartbroken father of a 12-year-old boy who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour has urged other parents not to take their children for granted.
Cameron Truesdale (12) from Co Down was diagnosed earlier this year with a rare brain tumour known as DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma).
Dad Harold told Independent.ie that the family are now desperately trying to raise funds to get life-saving treatment for Cameron.
"Cameron is ok at the moment. We're taking it one day at a time.
"He's in good spirits. He's a normal 12-year-old boy who loves going fishing and playing on his quad.
"He's so selfless and kind."
Harold said that the day Cameron was diagnosed with the tumour was the worst day of his life.
"His mummy Cassandra phoned me to say she was taking Cameron to the GP. She rang again to say he was sent up to the hospital so I met them up there.
"I was sitting at the side of the ward waiting on the consultant to come back and tell me what was happening. He told Cameron to go play the X-Box and wanted to speak to us alone. My heart sank. The walk from the ward to the private room was the worst. I knew it wasn't good news.
"His mummy and I have been separated for seven years but we collapsed into each other when the consultant told us that he had a rare brain tumour and couldn't operate.
"Our whole lives went from 100 to zero in a heartbeat. Our whole word fell apart."
The family are now fundraising to take Cameron to Mexico for potentially life-saving treatment.
"His mummy did a lot of research and found the treatment. We can't afford it ourselves because it'll be in the region of €300,000 for the treatment, flights and acommodation."
The treatment in Mexico is the only trial of its kind and Cameron's parents have been following its progress closely.
"It's trial and error at the moment. Each person adapts differently but Cameron deserves the chance. Especially because he is so well after six months of being diagnosed that we really think that this could help him. We can't just do nothing. We have to do our best for Cameron because he deserves it."
While the family had to go public with their heartbreaking story, 12-year-old Cameron wants to remain private and asks that only one photo of him, taken from the back, is used in the public eye.
"He's a very private boy. He's a typical 12-year-old."
Cameron has three siblings, sister Chloe (9) and two step-sisters aged two and 15 months.
"It's an ongoing conversation between his mummy and me about the logistics of us all going over to Mexico. The two of us want to go over and be there with Cameron."
The father-of-two urged parents not to take their kids for granted.
"Don't take your children for granted. You don't know what is around the corner.
"When you're saying no to your kids, don't unless you have to.
"I wish I hadn't worked as much and was at home more spending time with the kids. Put your kids first. Give your kids everything you can because you don't know what might happen."
Harold said that any donations are "greatly appreciated" and he thanked all those who donated.
You can donate to the fund here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cure4cam?utm_id=107&utm_term=AwJZEvR5V