A FAMILY has been left heartbroken after their teenage son was given the tragic news that he has less than a year to live following his brain tumour diagnosis.
Arnold ‘Arnie’ Chappin had noticed he was struggling to keep his balance in recent months, began to develop a limp and was constantly being sick.
The 13-year-old was taken to see a doctor by parents Ruth and Brett Chappin last Monday, where a series of neurological tests and an MRI scan were run.
It was two days later that the family from Dunstable, Bedfordshire were devastatingly told that Arnie had brainstem glioma – a mass incurable brain tumour – and would have only 6-12 months to live.
Following the initial MRI scan, a weakness was confirmed in Arnie’s left side and he was admitted to Cambridge Hospital the following Wednesday.
It was there that the family of seven were left devastated with the diagnosis, and were told that the tumour was growing quickly.
Despite already struggling to walk and talk as a result of the tumour, the brave teen is trying to make the most of his time with friends and family.
Arnie’s uncle Samuel Icke yesterday set up a GoFundMe in the hopes of raising enough funds to support Arnie’s family and helping them to move closer to the rest of their family in Manchester.
He wrote in the fundraiser description: “On Wednesday, our family received devastating news.
“Our beautiful nephew Arnold (Arnie) has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour that sadly cannot be treated.
“Imagine telling your 13-year-old son that he has less than a year to live. The doctors have given him a prognosis of 6-12 months to live and his health will soon start to rapidly decline.
“His mobility and ability to eat and speak will soon be greatly affected. He’s already struggling to walk and his speech is now affected.
“We want to ensure that he can create lasting memories with his family, and make the most of his time.
“Arnie is such a loving and affectionate boy who is hilarious and full of life. He’s desperate to experience as much as he can before his health deteriorates rapidly.
“Although he is being very brave, he’s incredibly scared and sad to be leaving his family behind, including his three brothers and sister, especially his little brother Ivan who he won’t get to see grow up.
“This devastating news has left us all brokenhearted, and we are determined to make his remaining time as comfortable and fulfilling as possible.
“Both of Arnie’s parents are self-employed, and with their focus now solely on his care, they will struggle to stay financially stable.
“The financial burden they face is immense with a family of seven to support, they will be unable to cover their daily living costs, bills and mortgage.
“We want to urgently move the whole family from down south to Manchester to rent a new house where he can be closer to all his family and get the support they need.
“Arnold is desperate to be with his family in Manchester.
“Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference in Arnold’s life and allow his family to focus on creating precious moments together and help move them to Manchester.
“We understand that not everyone may be in a position to donate, but sharing this campaign with your friends, family, and social networks can also greatly help in spreading the word and reaching our goal.
“We cannot express enough gratitude for your compassion, support, and generosity during this challenging journey.”
With the goal of £100,000, the fundraiser has already reached over £70,000 within 24 hours and shows no signs of stopping.
Several users have expressed their support for the family in a slew of touching comments.
Claire Maloney said: “‘A day without laughter is a day wasted [ -Charlie Chaplin]’. Hoping all your wishes come true, Arnie. Lots of love.”
Vicki England wrote: “I know it’s not much but I hope it helps to know how much we are all thinking of you at this devastating time – my heart breaks for you all.”
Ishmael Fields commented: “Prayers are with you and the family. I hope you can cherish and enjoy every minute you have left.”
Helen Gillian said: “Such a strong lad. A lot of people could learn a lot off you, Arnold. Thinking of you and your family.”
Speaking to Samuel Icke today, he said: “It’s honestly like we’re trapped in a nightmare. Anxiety is very high throughout the family.
“We’re trying our best to stay strong in front of Arnold but it’s hard to know how much we show him.
“Arnold has been amazing, he keeps saying he’s just so blessed. He’s scared and anxious.
“He just wants to be with us all in Manchester. He’s getting tired quickly but he’s still making us all laugh like usual, he’s got such a good sense of humour.
“We just have to keep communicating with him and reassure him the best we can. It’s uncharted waters for us all.
“It’s not day by day, it’s hour by hour, thinking too far ahead is terrifying but we’re determined to make the most of it and absorb every single bit of precious time with Arnold.
Brainstem glioma commonly affects children aged between five and ten years old – the rapid progression of the tumour often means that life expectancy can be just months.
There is currently no cure for the disease.
If you wish to support Arnie through the GoFundMe campaign, please visit: https://gofund.me/552169d9