Saturday, June 14, 2008
NZ youngster towers over his classmates - one of many side effects of the cancerous tumor in his head...
New Zealand youngster James Locke towers over his classmates - one of many side effects of the cancerous tumor in his head.
James has grown 1.5 centimeters and put on a kilo in a month this year. Doctors say the tumor, which sits near his hormone - secreting pituitary gland, is playing havoc with his hormones and causing his unusual growth pattern.
He is also in the early stages of precocious puberty - at just seven years of age - and his body is preparing for adulthood.
His parents haven't discussed this with him yet, but he will have to endure monthly injections if the full onset of puberty is to be postponed.
After 19 cycles of chemo therapy the youngster simply dreads the needles.
In some ways James has missed out on his boyhood; he is much more mature and wordly than his eight year old 'big brother' Jonathan.
It is now nearly four years since an MRI scan revealed the cancerous tumor in his head. His regular trips to Wellington from Palmerston North ninety miles away has prevented him from bonding with his classmates.
Another MRI scan in six months time will reveal whether the tumor is in remission or whether he will have to continue with his chemotherapy.