A young boy has been told he has just months to live after the discovery of a pea-sized lump on his leg led to a devastating diagnosis.
Eight-year-old Chandler from Sydney, Australia, is a happy child like any other, with a passion for LEGO, Transformers, Pokemon and Star Wars.
But on Star Wars Day this year – May 4 – his world was turned completely upside down after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer.
It was a month earlier, on Good Friday, that his parents Cong and Trang Tran noticed a pea-sized lump on their son’s left leg, just below the kneecap.
Their attention was drawn to the bump after they noticed Chandler was limping around the house and asked him if he’d hit it on something.
“No, nothing happened,” the youngster replied.
At that point, Cong noticed the lump.
“It was probably the size of a pea,” Cong told 7 News. “But it was quite firm.”
The lump stayed there and was causing little Chandler a lot of pain the next day, so his parents took him to hospital.
“They took an X-ray, and came back with nothing,” Cong said.
“So they gave us some painkillers, and we went home.”
The next day, Chandler was taken for an MRI, which showed a couple of bone lesions, and he was then taken to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where he was kept in for six days and underwent a series of scans and tests.
“They called us back in – it was May 4, Star Wars Day, so I remember it,” Cong said.
“They said, ‘Look, we got the results of everything … your son’s been diagnosed with osteosarcoma’.”
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer and mostly affects children and young adults under 20.
The NHS says it can affect young people due to the rapid growth spurts they often experience.
In most cases, however, it is not known exactly why a person develops bone cancer.
Tragically, upon further tests it was discovered that Chandler’s cancer had spread to his lungs.
Despite a leg amputation to try and treat the tumour in his knee and prevent the cancer from spreading further, the tumours in Chandlers lungs have continued to grow.
“His right lung was half filled with liquid and the tumours had grown both in size and in number,” Cong said.
“So we had meetings with the doctors and they pretty much said we’re at the point where we can’t save him … there was no more saving him.
“That obviously broke our hearts.”
Cong and Trang then made the excruciating decision to cease Chandler’s chemotherapy and he has now returned home to focus on enjoying the rest of his life with his parents and 6-year-old brother, Carson.
Cong said that little Chandler’s lungs are “putting up a fight” and that they are “hoping and praying they continue putting up the fight well into next year”.
“We’d be very happy to have him with us for Christmas, and however long we can,” Cong added.
“We’re just very, very happy to see him home and see him not in pain. This is the first time in a long time we’ve seen our normal Chandler again.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for Chandler and has raised more than $75,000, which he wants to spend on LEGO.
Cong said he hopes their family can help spread awareness of osteosarcoma.
“It would be great if (Chandler’s story) reaches the right people, and makes noise about the more rare cancers because not only are they rare, they also seem very aggressive and harder to treat,” he said.
“Having been through what we’ve been through the past six months, we just really hope other people have a chance of not having to go through that.”