December Warrior-Thomas

Thomas is a very sweet and caring little boy. Little brother to Oli, and proud big brother to his new baby sister, Elsie. He’s super brave and takes everything in his stride. When Thomas was two he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer where cells don’t grow probably and develop into a sarcoma tumour. His tumour was located close to his jaw which caused the nerves in his face to never develop correctly. He underwent two surgeries to remove the tumour and endured six months of weekly chemotherapy, and his cancer is thankfully now in remission. 

The tumour left Thomas with facial palsy which means the muscles and nerves don’t work on one side of his face. He can’t smile or move one side of his face, which although very cute now, has implications as he gets older. Thomas is now four years in remission, and less likely to relapse, so the doctors are now happy to schedule him for surgery to try to repair the palsy. He is having two long surgeries as part of a cross facial nerve graft and free muscle transfer operation. The surgeons will remove muscle and nerves from his leg and transplant them into his face. The hope is that the nerves will grow, and he’ll be able to fully smile for the first time ever. He is so excited for this, commenting to the medical team that he wants them to ‘fix his face’ which always makes them laugh. 

The first surgery will be this year and then another one about six to nine months later and he’ll need to spend a fair bit of time in hospital. He will have to have lots of therapy after the surgeries and won’t be able to do normal activities for a while whilst he heals. Thomas already has multiple scars from his cancer treatment, and this will, unfortunately, leave him with quite a few more, but that doesn’t seem to phase him.

Thomas loves playing with his brother Oliver, baby sister Elsie and pet dog Tilly. He enjoys going to his soccer class on the weekend, drawing and trading Pokémon cards with his friends. Thomas enjoys reading books about dinosaurs and wrestling on the ground pretending to be a silverback Gorilla. He would love to receive letters from people to cheer him up as he undergoes this big surgery.

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