Tyler heads to America for lifesaving surgery

Tyler Martin (3) with his sister Kirsty (2).''''Picture: Sarah Standing (132115-5082)
Tyler Martin (3) with his sister Kirsty (2).''''Picture: Sarah Standing (132115-5082)
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BRAVE Tyler Martin has already put up with a lot in his short life so far.

The three-year-old from Gosport was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and has lost his sight in one eye.

But despite going through three rounds of chemotherapy and spending days in hospital, the youngster still wears a smile on his face.

The cancer has now reached a stage where the NHS is unable to treat him any further – it has grown inwards and is only 1mm away from his brain.

So the health service is paying around £100,000 for him to receive life-saving treatment in the United States.

But the NHS can only pay for Tyler and his parents to make the journey in early September and they have another youngster to care for.

Tyler’s sister, two-year-old Kirsty has no-one at home in Gosport who can look after her, so must make the trip as well.

Tyler’s mum Tracey said: ‘It is a bit of a worry now, because we have only got four weeks to sort everything out.

‘He has had three lots of chemotherapy and we were told there is no more they can do here. Tyler has been absolutely amazing about it all.

‘It has not fazed him or bothered him at all. He is such a happy little boy.

‘He still plays and runs around like anyone else.’

The family will fly to Jacksonville in Florida for the nine weeks of urgent treatment.

Tyler’s cancer came to light when he developed a lump under his eye several months ago.

His parents Tracey and Steven, 47, first thought it was a regular 
infection. But after Tyler was taken in for a scan, it was found to be a rare form of 

He has since gone through treatment at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and Southampton General Hospital.

Tracey added: ‘It was hard to take in when we first found out.

‘You go into shock and even start blaming yourself.

‘But after a few weeks we were able to sort things out and the important thing now is getting Tyler the treatment he needs.’

Friends of the family have rallied around and are planning to hold a number of fundraising events in the area to help raise the cash they 

For more information about the events or how you can donate, visit facebook.com/tylers.fund.16.

PROTON beam therapy is a specialist form of radiotherapy which can precisely target certain cancers.

The nature of the treatment means there are increased success rates and fewer side-effects.

The therapy uses a high energy beam of protons, instead of X-rays, to deliver a dose of radiotherapy.

It is a more effective form of treatment because it directs the important radiation treatment to exactly the spot where it is needed, minimising damage done to surrounding tissue. The treatment is better suited to treating children with cancer.

There are only three medical centres in the world which are used to treat UK patients in this way – in Switzerland, and Florida and Oklahoma in the United States.

Last year, only 79 people in the country were sent to receive proton beam therapy.

Tyler’s treatment will last for around nine weeks.