Ethan's Gift

Reporter: Graeme Butler

The thing is.. Ethan Davies is anything but average. In his two years he's fought bigger battles than most people face in a lifetime... and he's still fighting.

At just over one and a half - Ethan was diagnosed with an Ependymoma.. It was a word,. Most parents like Christie-Lee and Shannon have never heard of - in simple terms it was a brain tumour.

"He was diagnosed late on a Thursday afternoon and within a couple of hours we met with his neurosurgeon Dr Sharon Lee in PMH. Normally I'm the one that gets told that there's this MRI I get the call from MRI and i Have to go up and talk to this family and just break the news and to see the heartache and the pain I just want to see kids grow up and be normal I'd love to be out of a business and no have to operate if there were no tumours that would be perfect"

About twenty kids in W.A each year receive this sort of diagnosis... Ependymoma is the third most common form of brain tumour in children... this is what Ethan's looked like. It requires painstaking, delicate surgery to remove.

Dr Sharon Lee was able to remove almost the entire tumour... leaving just a tiny fraction too close the brain stem to touch - that meant more treatment. "He had chemo therapy induction chemo therapy to try and shrink the remaining tumour and he had a scan at the end of April at the end of the chemo therapy it was amazing the tumour had disappeared couldn't be seen on the MRI which was the best result anybody could have asked for"

Ethan's recovery has been amazing.. Matched only by the amazing spirit of his mum and dad. In the midst of their medical crisis.. They made a profound decision. To help other children.

Christie-Lee and Shannon decided to establish a scholarship to fund a surgeon to undertake research at the Telethon institute for child health research. "It will fund the employment of a researcher dedicated to researching the better prevention and diagnosis and treatment of childhood brain cancer and you know that's where the money will be going"

"It really just demonstrates how selfless this family is in really wanting to undertake something that will have no real impact on their child but will impact on children in the future" Dr Nick Gottardo is co-leader of the telethon institute's Brain Cancer research group - he also treated Ethan at Princess Margaret... he says we've come a long way but research can still unlock so much more. Ethan's parent's hope their son's remarkable fight will inspire others to help as he continues his journey to recovery - that's why they've launched the Scholarship in his name.

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