Brave Mason is an inspiration

IPSWICH: He is just five years old and living with an inoperable brain tumour.

Mason Fountain could lose his sight completely if the headaches, which started when he was two, worsen.

He has battled through two operations, a biopsy and another procedure to fit a shunt to relieve the pressure of the tumour and is now bravely battling through a gruelling 18 months of chemotherapy.

But in spite of everything, the Gusford Primary School pupil and his mum are embarking on a fundraising mission to help other youngsters.

They are organising a fun day on September 11 to raise money for the play nurses on the children’s ward at Ipswich Hospital, who make Mason’s world at hospital fun.

After three years of severe headaches, and trips back and forth to the doctors, his parents received the shock diagnosis in April.

Thinking their son was suffering migraines, Shelley and Kevin Fountain, of Chantry Green, said their reality stopped when the doctor uttered the words “brain tumour”.

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“We could not believe it,” said Shelley, 27. “He would scream in pain and clutch his head, but we were told it was likely to be migraines.

“You don’t expect something like this to happen to your child.

“It just didn’t seem real until his chemotherapy started.”

Then came the earth-shattering news the tumour was inoperable, due to the fact it was growing close to the pituitary gland, making it very difficult to operate on.

His chemotherapy, which started 13 weeks ago, is to maintain the size of Mason’s tumour to prevent it from growing and spreading.

On Monday Mason will have another scan to check on the progress of his disease and to see if the tumour has spread.

And for the family, including Mason’s big brother, 12-year-old Jack, and younger sisters Kloie, 4, and 11-month-old Scarlett, the impact has been huge.

Kevin, who owns his own removals firm, KF Removals, said his son needs round-the-clock care.

“Our main concern at the moment is Mason could lose his sight completely,” he said. “He is severely visually impaired and any further pressure on his optic nerve could mean he loses his sight.”

The plucky youngster has already had to contend with losing his hair.

Shelley said: “It is the hardest part for Mason, he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t see other kids without hair.

“And with his nasal tube as well, he has become really shy in the past month or so. It is heartbreaking.”

Mason’s parents have been told the prognosis he faces is an uncertain one.

With the type of tumour he has it can be 50-50 as to whether he will survive.

Shelley added: “You never can tell, each tumour is different.

“We are all enjoying each day as it comes and making the best of everything for Mason. We have good days and really bad days.

“He has been through so much in five years.We are doing lots of fun things because you never know what is coming in the future. He is a brave little boy and we are so proud of him.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us, that’s why we have organised the fun day.”

n Send your messages of support for Mason. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail