Porthleven rallies round to help Riley Williams
THE family of a toddler diagnosed with a brain tumour just before Christmas have been overwhelmed by the support from their community.
Riley Williams, 3, and a pupil at Porthleven Nursery School, has already had the tumour removed but faces more operations and a potential trip to America for specialist therapy.
This may now depend on further treatment in the UK but locals have rallied round to help meet some of the cost of Riley's possible ten-week stay in the US with his mum and dad, Becca Frew and Jason Williams, and his nine-month-old brother Nathan.
Riley's treatment and accommodation will be funded by the NHS.
A collection at Porthleven supermarket raised more than £300, Porthleven Town Band is organising events and even one of Riley's schoolmates held a tabletop sale for him, raising £57.
Riley's grandfather Steve Williams said: "That brought a lump to the throat."
Tomorrow, the nursery is holding a fundraising non-uniform day. Other events are planned in Porthleven and Helston. Riley is being treated at Bristol Children's Hospital.
An operation to remove the tumour was successful but Mr Williams said the cancer cells remained in his system and the most effective treatment to remove them was by proton therapy in the US.
"They removed the tumour and were quite optimistic but then he started having trouble breathing every time they took him off the ventilator."
This meant another operation to gauge what was happening, which has raised doubts whether Riley will be able to go to America just yet.
It was just before Christmas that Riley complained of a headache, then he could not move freely.
"We thought he had a trapped nerve but Jason was not happy and called the ambulance," said Mr Williams.
He praised the paramedic who attended and assessed Riley, reporting to the paediatric team at Royal Cornwall Hospital at Truro straightaway. "His report was fantastic and we would like to know who he is to thank him."
Riley was back home for Christmas but had the tumour removed in Bristol last week.
Riley's grandmother Rebecca said: "It has been like a rollercoaster. I can't believe how supportive people have been. It has been overwhelming."