Iestyn – our little miracle!

Taken From Cycling Active Magazine:

“In probably the greatest CFC story we have ever featured, we meet eight-year-old Iestyn Middle who — with a little help from his CFC trike — has defied his doctors’ predictions that he would never cycle a two-wheeler again.

“Iestyn was having headaches and vomiting in the morning, over a period of probably six months,” Iestyn’s mum Lisa says. “The doctors would say: ‘It’s a viral infection.’ Or they’d ask: ‘Is he being bullied?’ Or: ‘Is his home life OK?’

“On November 4, 2011, when he was six, Iestyn had an eye test. When they looked behind his eyes they could see that all Iestyn’s optic nerves had swollen up and there was pressure there. So they phoned the hospital and asked if they could they take a closer look. At 3.30pm we got to the Royal Glamorgan hospital, by 5.10pm he was having a CT scan, and by 7.30pm we were being told that Iestyn had a brain tumour.

“On November 7, 2011 he went into surgery for eight and a half hours to remove the tumour. Then it came back in May 2012, so in June 2012 he had to have surgery again to remove it. And three weeks later he contracted meningitis, which really knocked him off his feet.

“Because the tumour was attached to Iestyn’s brain stem, when they took it away it affected all Iestyn’s right-hand side: his legs, his arms. Movement was quite weak and his core muscles had become quite weak. Iestyn’s Latch cancer charity social worker suggested we try for a grant with Cyclists Fighting Cancer, and see about getting a Tomcat trike for him.

“Iestyn got his trike in May this year and within three to four weeks you could see a massive difference. His legs were getting stronger and every time we took him to physio they would say it was really helping him. His core muscles were being strengthened too. If we went out, rather than using his wheelchair, he would rather use his trike. In his wheelchair, he would say: ‘Oh mam, people stare at me.’ But on the trike he was like any other boy with a bike.

“After Iestyn was diagnosed, his oncologist had said to us that he would probably never be able to ride a two-wheeler again. But one day, after having ridden his trike for a bit, he went down to my parent’s house and found his cousin’s two-wheel bike. And off he went on the two-wheeler. He wobbled a bit, but the strength he gained from the trike he was able to transfer to the two-wheeler.

“So CFC swapped his trike for a two-wheel bike today and we’ve been out all day watching him ride that. Nothing can come even close to how we feel as parents. From the moment of diagnosis you just go with things. But to feel happiness again and wholeness again, as a family, and seeing Iestyn enjoying his childhood again, we thought that was never going to happen. It’s been amazing.

“And when he saw his two-wheel bike today he said: ‘Oh mam, it’s the best thing I’ve ever had.’”  Courtesy of Matt Lamy at Cycling Active Magazine