Numurkah boy Samuel Altoft may only be 16 months old, but he's already engaged in a life and death struggle against a rare and aggressive form of cancer.JENNA BISHOP December 13, 2012 4:40am
Numurkah’s Samuel Altoft may only be 16 months old, but he’s already had to face more devastating news than most people will in their entire lives.
Just a couple of weeks after his first birthday on August 22, Samuel was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer which causes tumours in the brain or on the spinal cord.
A week later, Samuel had an operation to remove a large tumour from the back of his brain.
The community is being urged to support Samuel’s fight at a Dining with the Stars fundraising dinner on February 2.
The night will feature a two-course meal with stars Brendan Fevola, Anthony Stevens, Chris Connolly, Dean Pullar, Debbie Lee, Jessica Rothwell, Neville Bruns and Sarah Wall.
Guests also have the opportunity to buy 10 premium tickets, which includes a limousine ride from Numurkah to a secret location for pre-dinner drinks, and then a limo ride with the stars to the event.
Sporting memorabilia, including a cricket bat signed by the entire Australian team, will be auctioned off, along with holidays to Queensland and Torquay, hampers and services.
Samuel’s aunt Tracey Altoft said surgeons were able to remove most of the tumour during the operation, and he has just finished his second round of chemotherapy.
‘‘At his age, chemo isn’t going to cure him, it’s only going to keep it at bay until he’s old enough for radiotherapy,’’ she said.
Samuel will be able to have radiotherapy at age three, but until then his treatment will be determined by three-monthly MRIs.
Samuel’s mother Tania Altoft said he had regained a lot of his strength, energy and his love for musical toys and trucks since returning home to Numurkah on Sunday.
‘‘He’s a good little dancer — well, he thinks he is anyway,’’ she said.
Funds raised from the dinner will go towards Samuel’s treatment costs, travel and rehabilitation, and Miss Altoft said it meant a lot to have such support for Samuel.
‘‘It makes a really big difference to just know we’ve got that support,’’ she said.
‘‘His journey is my journey .
Grahamvale Primary School had a special visitor for its Anzac Day assembly yesterday.
The Yarrawonga and District Cemetery Trust has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Department of Health to undertake development work at the Yarrawonga cemetery.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Echuca shearer Franky Atkinson has earned himself a return trip to New Zealand next year after an impressive run of performances in shearing competitions.
William Napier, whose remains lie in Rochester cemetery, received the Empire's highest honour for gallantry while fighting for the British army during the Indian Mutiny.
Tongala family hopes for transplant call for six-year-old.
Family of former Seymour man killed in a road crash in Los Angeles before Christmas set up a Melbourne University scholarship in his honour.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
The Cancer Council Relay For Life fundraiser is a cause close to the hearts, and feet, of many district residents.
Redgum sculpture is carved at Thompsons Beach, Cobram.
Deniliquin Police ConFest Operation nets 76 drug detections.
Murray Goulburn has lifted its milk prices to about $6.66 kg milk solids.
Benalla's Joda Plex was named Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFEs student of the year at her graduation this month.
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