All Zoe Langford wants for her four-year-old Barnaby is to explore the world at his own pace – something his battle with a rare form of cancer previously prohibited. Luckily, Satan’s Little Helper is on hand to provide a solution.
It took six months of living in hospital, three bone marrow transplants and one trip to America to get Barnaby Langford to a much better place.
He was diagnosed with an incredibly rare form of cancer, Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour (ATRT), after his mum Zoe noticed some behavioural changes.
“Barnaby was a little unsteady on his feet, like a tiny little tipsy person. Then he started vomiting regularly.”
Blood ran cold
Zoe managed to convince doctors to send her son for an MRI scan, which revealed the worst.
“He was sedated for the scan, but as soon as the brain tumour was found he went straight into surgery; they never even woke him up.
“Looking back, I’m not really too sure how I felt. It seems crazy that I went home to pack an overnight bag while my son was having brain surgery, but I was on autopilot.”
A long and arduous treatment process followed, which involved aggressive chemotherapy, three bone marrow transplants and a six-week trip to America for specialised radiation treatment.
“Chemo on a little kid is something else,” says Zoe with a pause to catch her breath. You can feel the emotion welling up inside her.
“It was very stressful,” explains Zoe. “I’m not sure how we got through it. It was a hell of a lot for someone to go through when they’re just two years old.”
On the mend
That struggle proved to be worth it. Barnaby finished chemo in January 2022 and radiation treatment in May. Zoe says that his doctors are surprised by how well he’s doing – but there’s a long road ahead.
“We want him to get back to being as normal as possible. He’s got such a beautiful spirit and we want him to stay like that! However, the aggressive nature of his chemo has damaged his hearing, he may need glasses and it’s uncertain if his walk and balance will improve.”
Now he’s out of isolation, Zoe is keen to get Barnaby exploring the great outdoors again – but he struggles to do so himself. To help out, Satan’s Little Helper got him a 2-in-1 scooter that can be used as a balance bike or pushed as a regular scooter.
“It’s really good,” says Zoe. “Beforehand, we’d have to take him in the pram if we were going out, but now he’s able to join us under his own steam. It gives him a bit more autonomy and helps him build confidence, strength and stamina instead of sitting down the whole time.
“He loves jumping on it and going outside. I’m really looking forward to when he can take the seat off and scoot by himself. It’s also a big help for his mental health. He’s such a happy kid, who just wants to explore the world and now he can!”