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Parents change wedding plans for Riley Plant
THE parents of brain tumour sufferer Riley Plant have brought their wedding forward by more than three months, after being told there is no hope of him surviving.
Riley, who is 18 months old, has been battling the condition since being diagnosed in April and family and friends have been raising funds to send him and his family on a dream Disney holiday.
His parents Gavin Plant, 24, and Lindsay Carrington, 25, from Burnholme, hoped chemotherapy could treat the grade-four atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour (AT/RT), but after undergoing a recent operation to remove fluid from his brain, cancer cells were discovered. Doctors have now said the condition cannot be treated further and Riley may have only weeks to live.
Gavin and Lindsay say the news has “crushed and devastated” them and have now brought their wedding, at the Pavilion Hotel in Fulford , forward from November to this Sunday, so Riley can be there as a page boy.
Riley’s illness means he is now unable to travel by to Disneyworld in Florida, but his family hope to arrange a trip to Disneyland Paris instead and the children’s charity Make A Dream has joined the drive to help.
Since The Press first told Riley’s story, donations to the Smiley Riley Fund, set up to raise money for the holiday, have increased’ to about £3,600 and a string of events have been organised for the coming weeks.
Gavin said: “We were told there is no medical treatment in the world which can help Riley now, and although there are procedures which might prolong his life a little while, there is no guarantee it would work.
“It’s impossible to give an exact timeframe for how long he might survive, but doctors have said that because it is such an aggressive form of cancer, it could be just weeks or maybe a few months.
“We are just devastated – it’s like our whole world has been crushed.
“We are just trying to get on with things as best we can and keep ourselves busy, and the strange thing is that because Riley has not had chemotherapy for about four weeks, he is the best he has been since he was diagnosed – happy, smiling, dancing.
“But his condition will only get worse, which is why we decided to bring the wedding forward.
“We just want him to be there – it wouldn’t be special if he wasn’t there.”
Riley’s sisters Ebony, eight, and five-year-old Kelsy will be flower girls on Sunday and Gavin said the family had been left “amazed” at the donations and support they have received.
He said: “As well as donating money, people have stopped us and told us they are there for us if we ever want to talk – little things like that make such a difference. Everybody has been just fantastic.”
A Sing For Riley’ karaoke night will be held on Saturday night at the Nags Head pub in Heworth , which has supplied the music equipment. There will be an auction on August 4 at the York David Lloyd gym, with the room being provided for free. A race night will be held at the Beeswing pub, in Hull Road, on August 11.
For more information about the Smiley Riley Fund, phone Colin Rowan on 07774 712651, Simone Potter on 07818 506476 or Donna Train on 07882 913547, or visit www.smileyrileyfund.co.uk
• A raffle will be held in aid of Riley at a fashion show being staged at 6pm this evening at the Cedar Court Hotel by She Loves York, a lifestyle club for York women.