Mum urges parents to trust instincts after son’s ‘clumsiness’ is actually cancer
A mum had a ‘gut instinct’ that something was wrong when she noticed her toddler was struggling to walk.
Kamila Stopa from Cambuslang, Scotland, took son Alex, two, to see a doctor twice after he reported feeling dizzy.
The 32-year-old was told that the toddler’s walk and dizzyness would wear off eventually.
But her instincts told her it was something more so Kamila pushed for a brain scan.
The scans revealed Alex had a rare form of cancer – medulloblastoma – a brain tumor that starts in the lower back part of the brain.
The youngster is now undergoing grueling chemotherapy after having 90% of the tumour removed from his brain.
Kamila is now urging other parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children’s wellbeing.
She explained: ‘I knew something was wrong with him but I wasn’t sure what it was.
‘I would say to other mums, don’t listen to other people and just trust your instincts.
‘Don’t listen to people when they say “your baby is fine just give him time”. People kept telling me that but I should have just listened to my instincts from the beginning.’
Alex was diagnosed with the condition in January after months of bad headaches, dizziness and poor coordination.
‘The day Alex was diagnosed was the worst day of my life,’ added Kamila.
‘To see him in this state now is just shocking.
‘He’s only two and a half years old. Why has this happened to him?’
Kamila says Alex’s condition began in the summer.
‘Alex was running around happily one minute and the next he came to me and he said he wanted to go sleep.
‘I looked at him and realised there was something wrong with him. I could see he was dizzy so I put him to bed but after ten minutes he seemed fine.’
Kamila said she thought little of the incident but in October 2019, Alex started struggling to walk and she badgered her GP, who eventually referred Alex for a brain scan.
She said: ‘He started struggling to walk and became clumsy. He was still just 18 months old though so I didn’t think there was anything wrong, I just thought that perhaps he was a late developer.
‘But, towards the beginning of November, his walking became worse, not better.
It was really, really concerning and I knew that something was wrong.’
‘In December, the dizziness continued and Alex started to become tired and lethargic.’
Eventually, Kamila and Alex were referred to a neurologist who recommended Alex for an urgent brain scan.
Finally, in January 2020, Kamila was given the crushing news that Alex had medulloblastoma.
Alex has had surgery to remove 90% of the tumour but because the location of the remaining 10% of the tumour is deep within his brain, he is undergoing chemotherapy to remove the rest.
‘Alex has been the best throughout all of this and has been smiling all the way through,’ continued Kamila.
‘Everyone who knows him loves him. He’s handsome and full of energy and curious about everything, he’s just a perfect boy.’
Kamila and her partner Pawel, 28, have both had to leave work in order to care for Alex full-time.
So the family is currently trying to raise £10,000 on GoFundMe to help support themselves while Alex is receiving treatment.
‘Alex doesn’t understand why he can’t come back home, we need to do whatever it takes to make him happy and healthy again’