‘Just come up to him and say hi’ Mum pleads for friends for son suffering with rare tumours

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  • The mum of an eight-year-old boy suffering from rare tumours is encouraging people to say ‘hi’ to her son, in the hope that more children will become friends with him.

    Rhian Backhouse, a mum from Anglesey, has urged people not to just stop and stare at her son who has tumours growing throughout his body, but to be friendly and speak to him.

    Eight-year-old Koren was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis two years ago, meaning he has two tumours on his brain, one on his stomach and a large tumour on his right eye which continues to grow every day.

    These tumours have caused Koren’s face to appear disfigured, meaning that some children can feel a little wary of him when trying to understand why he looks different.

    Rhian ܤ Backhouse

    ‎Rhian ܤ Backhouse‎ added a new photo.

    Koren’s mum has spoken to the Daily Post about the struggle she went through when her son was first diagnosed at the age of six.

    ‘You hear all about these things but you never expect it to happen to your own child, we were all in bits.

    ‘He has the same condition as the Elephant Man, and as it stands there is currently no cure. As Koren continues to grow, his tumours will grow with him.

    ‘A lot of children look and stare at Koren because they don’t understand what he’s got. He would love children to just come up to him and say hi, but children are really wary of him because of his appearance.’

    It was at three years old that Koren’s first symptoms began to show, with a problem in his eye that doctors thought was a water particle.

    Other signs the family started noticing were coffee-coloured patches on Koren’s body.

    Rhian ܤ Backhouse

    ‎Rhian ܤ Backhouse‎ added a new photo.

    The 28-year-old mum continued, ‘When he was born we had never heard of this condition so we weren’t aware of the symptoms.

    ‘The health visitor told us he just had birthmarks – they weren’t aware of the condition either.’

    Now Koren’s mum wants to raise awareness of neurofibromatosis and encourage others to be kind when they see someone that may be suffering from it.

    ‘We want to raise awareness so other people are aware of the symptoms and so no other parent has to go through what we have been through with Koren.

    ‘The more people that are aware, the more help we can get to find a cure.’