Rangers VIP mascot day helps boy battling cancer celebrate amazing news of treatment progress

·3-min read
Cole Park
Cole Park

The family of a brave schoolboy who is battling cancer have told of their 'joy and relief' after doctors revealed treatment to shrink an aggressive brain tumour is working.

To celebrate his good news, Cole Park was invited back to Ibrox to be a VIP mascot at the Rangers match against Dundee United last Saturday.

The inspirational five-year-old, who has undergone neurosurgery and gruelling radiotherapy, was led onto the pitch by Gers captain James Tavernier.

Glasgow Times: Cole Park at Ibrox
Glasgow Times: Cole Park at Ibrox

Cole Park at Ibrox

A recent MRI scan showed a reduction in some of the tumours on his brain and spine.

However, doctors have told the family that Cole will have to endure a further 11 months of chemotherapy before they ultimately know how successful the treatment is going to be.

Mum Michelle Barrie, 36, said: “It’s the news we’ve been waiting for, although we have been warned Cole still has a long way to go and we're not out of the woods yet.

“It’s a massive relief that his treatment is working, and we are hopeful the next 11 rounds of chemo will continue to blast his cancer.

"I don't have a prognosis but we are trying to stay positive and take it one day at a time.

“As a special treat Cole was invited back to Ibrox to be a mascot and that was a dream come true for him. He got to meet the players and was so happy when he was taken onto the pitch.

"He’s such a massive Rangers fan and he says it’s a moment he’ll never forget.

“The staff and players were terrific with him and I can’t thank all of them enough. A kind-hearted fan even gave Cole £100 towards a ticket for another match.

"Cole was chuffed to bits and his friends have all been so impressed by his big day."

Glasgow Times: Cole with mum Michelle and family friend Lisa at Ibrox
Glasgow Times: Cole with mum Michelle and family friend Lisa at Ibrox

Cole with mum Michelle and family friend Lisa at Ibrox

The Glasgow Times previously reported that the youngster was diagnosed in March with medulloblastoma, a rare form of brain tumour which affects around 55 children each year in the UK.

The next day he had his first surgery to try to reduce the size of the growth. A second operation followed, where doctors made the crushing discovery that there were further tumours on the youngster's brain and spine.

Consultants told Michelle the growths were like "powdered sugar".

Michelle, from Kirkintilloch, told how her son was also recently admitted into the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, after suffering from seizures.

She explained: “Cole had to go through another surgery to remove the central line in his heart. He was suffering from seizures and doctors think this is due to an infection caused by the line.

“Cole just keeps smiling no matter what he goes through. He just amazes us every day and I’m in awe of his courage. Hopefully this positive news will give him a real lift.

“He takes everything in his stride and knows all the hospital staff so well now. I’m so grateful for the wonderful care he has received. He really is our little miracle, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Michelle first noticed something was wrong with her son when he complained of sore legs and headaches.

She explained: “We never imagined it would be cancer and our world was shattered when we were told.

Glasgow Times: Newsquest
Glasgow Times: Newsquest

Newsquest

“It was devastating, and he was rushed straight in to try and remove the tumour. He has an amazing team of surgeons, but they couldn’t get it all out without causing brain damage.

“They had to stop the operation prematurely and think about other options. Thankfully we know now that the plan they have come up with is working. It was the greatest news we could have wished for.

“Cole still faces a difficult time ahead of him and we know we can't get too optimistic. He’s such a strong wee boy and our superhero, as a family we will all just keep fighting."