A Legacy for Mason A family from Burton-upon-Trent has raised over £3,500 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity after harnessing the power of online fundraising to leave a lasting legacy for their six-year-old son, who passed away after a tough battle with a brain tumour. When Mason Archer was three-years-old, he started to show some unusual behaviour which concerned his parents David and Sara. Mason seemed to be forgetting skills he had previously developed and he started experiencing mobility issues. David and Sara suspected he may be autistic but after numerous appointments with different specialists and professionals, Mason was eventually referred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital to see a Neurologist. Mason was sent for an MRI scan, which showed that Mason had a large tumour, as well as fluid on his brain. He was diagnosed with a rare tumour on his brain called a Ganglioglioma and Mason’s parents were devastated to learn that he would have to be hospitalised immediately for surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible. The family was caught in a traumatic whirlwind after the diagnosis, however after a three week stay following his surgery, Mason was allowed home. Unfortunately, just a few short months later, further scans delivered the heart-breaking news that what was left of the tumour had grown and Mason would have to begin chemotherapy. To start with, Mason was given a mild dose of chemotherapy so that he could continue to go to school, but after five months the tumour had continued to grow, so Mason was switched onto a more intense treatment. Mason took it all in his stride but the stronger chemotherapy was causing his blood count to plummet. It was decided that his dosage needed to be reduced, but that meant his tumour continued to grow and spread. Mason then started a course of radiotherapy and initially he dealt well with the new treatment, but after a few weeks it began to take a painful toll on his small body. Mason was struggling to breathe and couldn’t swallow, and as his condition deteriorated, he began to rely more and more on machines to breathe for him. On Tuesday 1 October 2019, David and Sara made the heart-breaking decision to have Mason taken off his ventilator. After his family came to say their last goodbyes, Mason drifted to sleep, passing away peacefully in his mum’s arms. Since losing their little boy and through their grief, David, Sara and their family have made it their mission to raise money for the Oncology Clinic at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. David’s niece, Paige Tongue, was heart-broken by the loss of her little cousin and set up a page on the Just Giving fundraising site in a bid to help raise money in Mason’s memory, spreading the word over social media. Friends and family were so touched by Mason’s story and before long the amount donated hit the £3,500 mark. David said: “Mason fought his battle so bravely and even though he’s gone and our hearts are broken, we wanted to raise some money in his name for the incredible team in the Oncology Clinic that looked after him so well. We spent so much time there and even though we know how busy the staff must have been with other patients, they always made Mason feel like he was their only patient. “We’re blown away by the response we’ve had on our fundraising page. We’re so thankful to everyone who gave money in Mason’s name.” Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Mason’s story is absolutely heart-breaking, but just like Mason, his family are fighters. Through their grief, they have resolved to raise an incredible amount for us, so Mason’s legacy will live on by making a difference to other children and families going through similarly difficult times.” If you would like to fundraise for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity or donate, please visit bch.org.uk, email [email protected] or call 0121 333 8506.