Izzy Rennie was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour just before her second birthday but never complains say her parents
With her beaming smile, little Izzy Rennie is like any other five-year-old as she plays happily with her toys.
However, this little girl is living with a rare brain tumour which affects her movement and vision.
Now, her parents have embarked on a fundraising journey they hope will reduce the number of other families being given the same devastating news.
Izzy, from Lesbury near Alnwick and a pupil at Hipsburn First School, was diagnosed with the tumour just before her second birthday in November 2009, after she began to lose movement on her right side..
Mother Katie, 39, recalls the heartbreaking moment she and husband Scott, 41, a squadron leader at RAF Boulmer’s control and reporting centre, were told the diagnosis at Newcastle General Hospital.
“Your life just falls apart completely,” she said. “As soon as someone mentions the words brain tumour, you just think that is it.
“Because there is little awareness, you do not really know about them. It is as if someone has just shattered your life completely.”
Izzy’s parents, and older sister Lauren, nine, also a pupil at Hipsburn, then faced an agonising two-week wait while her biopsy results were analysed to find what kind of tumour she had.
The family, who live in Alnmouth Road, were told Izzy had a low-grade glioma – a slow growing tumour of which there are about 300 cases a year in the UK.
“Lucky is the wrong word, but in a way we are lucky that Izzy’s should be treatable,” said Katie. “There are no guarantees for any of them, but Izzy’s prognosis is good.” Izzy has weekly chemotherapy, wears a splint to keep her right leg in place, has botox injections into her right foot and leg every six months to relax the muscles and wears taping which supports her right hand.
She also has the fluid from around her tumour drained every four weeks, has MRI scans every three to four months and regular physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
A cyst around the tumour affects her nervous system and her movement.
Mrs Rennie said: “She goes through a lot and she has never ever once grumbled. She lets everybody do to her what they may and gets on with it.”
Doctors told the family the location of Izzy tumour’s would make it very difficult to remove surgically entirely.
She underwent a risky operation in January 2012. However, to surgeons’ surprise, the tumour quickly began to grow back.
Izzy can have radiotherapy, but doctors will not begin such treatment until she is seven, when her brain is more developed.
Mrs Rennie said: “She is such a happy little thing, she has always got a smile for everybody.
“She is always chatty and bubbly. She is always asking people how they are, with never a thought for herself. I do not know many five-year-olds like that.”
Katie and Scott, who are also parents to two-year-old Hannah, have decided the time is right to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity, to fund its research.
They are holding a fundraising dinner at the Alnwick Garden on Saturday, September 28, with a performance from the Llanddulas Male Voice Choir, from North Wales.
The same choir will perform at Hipsburn School the following day. Proceeds from both events will go towards the charity and the school, in recognition of its support.
To find out more, email Mrs Rennie at firstname.lastname@example.org