A mother who lost her only son to a brain tumour has told MPs “we must do better” to support young people diagnosed with the condition.
Vicky Ringer’s six-year-old son, Levi, died in 2006, just weeks after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He would have celebrated his 19th birthday next week.
Speaking at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours on Tuesday evening, Ms Ringer explained that more support was needed.
She said: “Following a brain tumour diagnosis, children and young people can experience difficulty with cognition and learning, social skills and emotional regulation.
“Physical difficulties can also be experienced as a result of treatment.
“It’s vital that schools offer the support to these children to help them reach their potential and to aid them in their rehabilitation following treatment and throughout key stages at school.”
Following Levi’s death, his family launched a charity in his memory.
Levi’s Star Children’s Brain Tumour Charity campaigns to raise awareness of brain tumours, and has so far raised more than £500,000 to support affected families.
Ms Ringer, 47, now works as a specialist teacher, providing support for children with brain tumours, and is conducting research into educational provision for these children.
She first took her campaign to parliament three years ago, where she asked MPs to invest in support for the 16,000 people who are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year.
Ms Ringer believes that the charity and its work are a fitting tribute to her son.
She said: “Even though nothing can take away the pain and erase the horrific memories, at least we know that we’re doing something positive, that Levi’s going to be remembered.”
Visit levisstar.co.uk to find out more about the charity’s work or to get involved.