Heartache for Kidsgrove youngster Ruby Owen as tumours return
SPECIALISTS believe there may be nothing more they can do for brave Ruby Owen after a scan found more tumours.
Five-year-old Ruby was recovering at home in Kidsgrove, following 10 weeks of radiation treatment for a brain tumour in the U.S.
But now the family has received the devastating news that more tumours have been discovered in her brain.
Dad Martin, aged 41, said: "She had a scan on Friday and they found more tumours. There's nothing they can do.
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"We've got a meeting tomorrow to discuss it.
"They say there's some trial drugs that we could try, but they won't cure it.
"It is chemotherapy and I don't know whether we want to put her through that again."
Thousands of people across the Potteries have supported Ruby with fund-raising efforts and good wishes since she was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2009.
Surgeons operated and succeeded in removing most of the growth. But she still needed treatment to destroy any remaining cells.
Then in 2010, Ruby was flown out to America for specialist treatment not available in the UK, after well-wishers raised £167,000.
Proton therapy was the only radiation treatment able to target the tumour precisely enough to save Ruby's life.
The operation was a success and Ruby made a full recovery, returning to her friends at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, where she is extremely popular with her classmates and teachers.
But 18-months later scans revealed the tumour had returned.
Following another operation at Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Healthcare Hospital, surgeons were able to remove about 45 per cent of the tumour.
She then needed to fly out to Bloomington, Indiana, in March, after well-wishers raised more than £125,000 to fund the trip.
While in the US, Ruby, underwent 33 cancer treatment sessions.
But throughout her ordeal, the plucky five-year-old has remained bright and cheerful, constantly giggling and laughing with her family and friends.
It is her bravery and happy nature which has captured the hearts of people all across North Staffordshire and the rest of the country.
Announcing the news on Twitter, to Ruby's 3,725 followers, dad Martin said: "Thank-you for all your support and prayers. Ruby's scan was not the best result, they think it has come back again.
"It's so hard for me to tell you all this as the pain is unbearable.
"Our little girl has never done anything to anyone and does not deserve this."
Steve Herriman began fund-raising because Ruby's dad Martin is his cousin's son.
The 39-year-old, of Bradwell, said: "It's very sad news. But fund-raising is carrying on to pay for any treatment she might need or to buy things that will make her smile."