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Boy, 5, given months to live celebrates Christmas thanks to new cancer trial drug

Five year-old Caleb Stirrat’s future looking brighter after he battled meningitis while undergoing intensive treatment for rare brain cancer over Christmas

A Christmas loving schoolboy previously given months to live has finally celebrated the big day with his family, thanks to a new trial drug.

Caleb Stirrat and his triplet sisters Poppy and Alyssia were born prematurely in 2016 after parents Karen and Andy underwent IVF treatment.

In 2019 doctors found Caleb was suffering from a rare atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour and the family was warned he had a less than 50/50 chance of survival, reports the Daily Record.

They travelled to the USA for pioneering treatment which seemed to remove the cancer but it returned more aggressively.

But the future is looking much brighter for Caleb after he battled meningitis while undergoing intensive treatment for rare brain cancer over Christms and he is now enjoying school with his sisters.

Mum Karen said: “When you look back at where we were last year to now and all the things he has achieved, it’s amazing.

“He’s started school and is finally enjoying Christmas.

“Last year he didn’t get to do anything because he was so ill with meningitis so we’re just so happy he’s getting to experience it all.

“Caleb loves Christmas. He’s fascinated by it and it’s his favourite time of year so it’s been really special.”

The family had sought a second opinion after being given Caleb’s terminal diagnosis and found an oncologist in Manchester who offered Caleb a new drug.

More than a year on, he remains on the drug and has chemotherapy twice a day, with anti-sickness medication administered through a tube and frequent health checks.

Karen added: “Because it’s a trial drug they don’t see it as being a cure. But we can’t even contemplate that because he’s doing ok and we’re taking each day as it comes.

“They initially said he should be on the drug for two years. He may have to come off it at some point and we will have to take a decision as to what to do next. We don’t have a plan B as such.

“We’re on a knife edge wondering what will happen next and what the next scan will show. But we try not to get too caught up in that because he still needs to have a life.

“We just let him live his life. He’s a child and you can’t wrap him up in cotton wool because that’s not a life.

“We don’t know what each year will bring. But for now, you look at him and see him running around like a normal child. If it wasn’t for his tube you probably wouldn’t know any different.

“We just let him live his life.”