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Stand behind Ryan

SUSPECTED TUMOUR: Ryan Flenady, with his parents Graham and Mary-Ann, will undergo chemotherapy to reduce a suspected brain tumour.
SUSPECTED TUMOUR: Ryan Flenady, with his parents Graham and Mary-Ann, will undergo chemotherapy to reduce a suspected brain tumour.

RYAN Flenady is like any other 2-year-old.

He is happy, carefree, mischievous and loves Dorothy the dinosaur.   

"He is happy in himself so you wouldn't think there were so many things wrong."

Ryan's mum, Mary-Ann, is spot on.

Looking at Ryan bravely climbing the lounge chairs and investigating my camera bag you wouldn't think there was anything unhealthy about this boy.

But unfortunately there is.  

At just two years Ryan has undergone six lots of general anaesthetic, five MRIs and countless procedures and tests.

For most of his life Ryan has dealt with uncontrollable epilepsy, which at one stage meant he was having up to 30 seizures a day and one that lasted more than an hour.

"His face was fully bruised and cut but now they have reduced down to one a day," Mary-Ann said.

Ryan has also suffered delayed development and a suspected tumour which has just been found to be increasing in size.

"In an MRI they discovered the suspected tumour on the C2 section (of his spine), so even though it is not on his brain it is still classed as a brain tumour because there are all cables running up the C2 section to his brain," she said.

"But that was actually discovered when they did an MRI to try and see if there was something happening in his brain related to his epilepsy and they just happen to discover this other thing that they weren't even looking for.

"Just the two of us were down there and it was late on a Friday afternoon and I was called into a room.

"I had no family support down there at the time, so it was very hard to be told this totally unexpected news.

"He has had these regular MRIs every three to four months and it has been stable up until the recent one a few weeks ago. 

"Where it is a very risky area so if they go in and try and do a biopsy it could paralyse him and where it is there are all cables going down into your heart and lungs.

"They had a neuro-surgeon look at it last week and there isn't even a little bit of tissue sticking out for them to do a biopsy.

"So it is basically looking like our only option is to go in and do chemothephy without even knowing if it is cancerous or not. 

"He has been through so many different test and procedures to test to see if it was something else but it's just at the stage they don't have any other option."

Ryan flew down to Brisbane on Tuesday for meetings with specialists to decide what the next step is.

"We go down there not knowing if we will be a few days or a month," Mary-Ann said.  

Mary-Ann said it has been a tough road which she hopes may ease up soon. 

"We had on incident where it was just him and I and he had a seizure in the airport his head was bleeding and everything.

"I just felt like crying and I had to go no I have to be strong so there are a lot of moments like that that you just feel like breaking down but you go no I have to be strong."

Mary-Ann said Ryan's brothers, Lachlan and Jordan, have coped very well with everything.

"Jordan doesn't really understand it but we are trying to explain it to Lachlan without overloading him.

"But they have coped so well."

Now the Biloela community are rallying around the Flenady family to help support them throughout Ryan's treatment.

A bowls day will be held on Sunday December 2 at 1:30pm at Biloela Bowls Club in aid of the Flenady family.  

"It's nice to know there are so many people willing to give us a hsnd and we wion;t be stuck with it alone," Ryan's dad Graham said.


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