A five-year-old boy has died less than three weeks after being diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer, leaving his parents shell-shocked but fighting to raise awareness of the disease.
Luke Morin, from Denver in the US state of Colorado, was a “loving, sweet, funny kid”, his mother Jill told US news outlet KMGH-TV.
She said in April, Luke began feeling unwell, but there were no major symptoms to indicate what the trouble might be.
Four days after he complained of feeling sick, his parents took him to hospital to get checked out.
A CT scan revealed the unthinkable.
Luke was diagnosed with DIPG, or Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a rare and aggressive brain tumour.
DIPG tumours, which are found at the base of the brain, grow quickly and commonly spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord, making treatment extremely difficult.
“I think my husband jumped in and said, ‘Is our son going to die?’,” Jill said.
Only 17 days later, he did.
“My husband has the best analogy for it, which was DIPG was the drunk driver that killed our son,” the devastated mother told KMGH.
“Our boy was stolen from us.”
Since Luke’s death, his parents have made it their mission to raise money for research into the rare condition, which currently has a zero per cent survival rate.
“I don’t want to see families go through it,” Jill said.
“I don’t want kids to go through it.”
Next month Luke’s parents will hold a fundraising walk/run at Central Park in Stapleton, Colorado, a place they often took their son.
The family said all money raised would go towards funding DIPG research.
“Luke’s lasting legacy will be improving treatment for these children, if not finding a cure,” Jill said.