When news happens, text AND and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Thousands support Hope for Jayden Facebook campaign
THE plight of a four-year-old Basingstoke boy, who has an incurable brain tumour, has touched people around the world – with thousands of pounds being donated to a fundraising appeal.
Michael Wilson and Lou Scandrett set up the Facebook group Hope for Jayden on September 2 after a CT scan revealed something was wrong with their little boy. Within a week, 10,000 people had liked the page and were following the family’s journey as they discovered their son’s fate.
Jayden, a pupil at St Mark’s Primary School, in Hatch Warren, was taken to hospital after falling over on August 28, suffering a bump to his head which left him unsteady on his feet. Following an MRI scan at Southampton General Hospital, the family was told the devastating news that surgeons believed Jayden had a tumour. Michael, 31, who is a member of the world famous 3Run group, said the news came as a huge shock, because his son had suffered no symptoms.
He said: “He’s a happy little boy and he’s still his cheeky self. Doctors are baffled. He should be ill and wobbly and struggling to swallow.”
The family, from Beggarwood, updated the Facebook page, asking followers to hope for a miracle for Jayden before they discovered the results of a biopsy which would confirm the tumour. People responded in their thousands, along with numerous celebrities.
But on September 10, the family’s worst fears became a reality and Michael and 34-year-old Lou, who also have a six-year-old daughter Ella, were told that Jayden had a grade four stem tumour which cannot be operated on. Just 450 people in the UK are diagnosed with the same tumour, and of those, only two or three are incurable.
Michael said: “It threw us back so hard.” He added: “No parent ever expects this or thinks this will happen to their own child.”
Since sharing the devastating news, the Hope for Jayden Facebook page has grown to 12,000 likes, with people from all over the world posting their support for the family.
But in the midst of their own tragedy, the couple are hoping their story will inspire others. Michael said: “I’m hoping this is making everyone appreciate what they have in their life and ensure other people do the things they want to do in life, because life is short.”
Having taken the brave decision to share their sad story, thousands of people have pledged to fundraise for the family to help fill the rest of Jayden’s life with special memories.
A Just Giving page raised £4,000 in 24 hours, with donations flooding in from all over the world. Michael said: “It’s just been, quite simply, overwhelming. The support alone has been a massive help to me and his mum. Without that support we wouldn’t be as strong and positive as we are now.
“That was the key message of the group – we wanted to reach out to the world for hope and energy in believing my beautiful little boy will survive this and have a normal life.”
The family is now planning a holiday and experiences for Jayden, including a helicopter ride. Michael said: “Our ultimate goal is to give him the best quality of life possible and create some epic memories for the four of us. We have so much planned and so many things we want to do in a short time. We want to give him an epic send-off.”
To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/local/project/hopeforjayden.
*Michael and Lou have taken the decision to protect both their children from knowing that Jayden’s tumour is terminal. They have asked that any parents whose children know either Jayden or Ella do not tell them this, to prevent the risk of it being passed on.