FIGHTING SPIRIT OF CANCER BOY
September 04, 2002
Matt Leitch, aged 13, from Goughs Lane, Warfield, suffers from cerebral melanoma and requires round-the-clock treatment.
His parents, Mark and Lynette, have both had to give up their jobs to look after him full time.
Recently, Slough-based telecommunications firm Equant donated a colour laptop PC and range of software to Matt.
Vitally, the PC's Internet access allows his family to stay in contact with friends, relations, associations and care companies, and also to make contact with other people around the world suffering from the same condition as Matt.
Equant's involvement came about through Leitch family friend Andrew Holloway, who works for the firm.
He said: "We want to give the family all the support we can, be that in our prayers or through publicising the appeal.
"The next stage will hopefully be to get other local companies more proactively involved."
Matt's father Mark said: "People have been so kind. Things have been pretty desperate at times and it's wonderful how often things seem to come through for us just when they are needed."
"We want to raise funds not only to support ourselves but also to provide equipment that will stimulate Matthew, aiding his recovery."
He added: "We obviously need to take him to medical centres that specialise in his very rare condition, in the hope that someone, some day, can find a cure."
Matt's illness was diagnosed last summer after he complained of a headache at home one evening.
Hospital checks revealed he had cancerous cells in his spinal fluid and he was given weeks to live.
But he amazed specialists by his will to live, and so far has exceeded doctors' expectations by 14 months.
Matt's Fund, a charity set up to help pay for the teenager's care and research into new treatments, has so far raised more than £5,500.
Businesses and residents wishing to help Matt's cause should call Andrew Holloway on 020 8321 4000.
seFamily friends have been instrumental in helping the family raise funds for research into new treatments for the illness and to help pay for Matt's round-the-clock care, and Matt's Appeal has already raised more than £5,500.