“I never ever thought there could be something wrong with his brain or brain cancer – Conor was only 5 years old” Connie Colgan, Conor’s mum.
Last year The Kids’ Cancer Project had the absolute pleasure of meeting an inspiring young man named Conor.
Conor calls the city of Joondalup home, northwest of Perth on Western Australia’s Sunset Coast. Conor is the second youngest of seven children to parents Connie and Nathan Colgan.
When Conor was just five years’ old he was diagnosed with a brain tumour after a prolonged illness, initially thought to be a stomach virus.
Investigative scans revealed the worst news, little Conor had a brain tumour, the size of an egg. He was rushed to surgery that night.
Conor recovered well after his surgery but the shock of the diagnosis and immediacy of his surgery left the rest of his brothers and sister’s reeling unsure of how to cope with their mixed emotions of grief, fear and uncertainty for their little brother.
Aisling aged just 12 years old when Conor was diagnosed, to cope she would write poetry as way to express her sadness and process what had happened. “You feel completely helpless watching your little brother so sick, we all got through as best we could. Writing was outlet for the pain and confusion I had around Conor’s diagnosis” said Aisling now 17 years old.
In twelve months Conor’s health declined and he again required surgery, surgery which was more aggressive. Surgeons completely removed the tumour but Conor lost facial nerves which controlled his motion and feeling in his right side.
“Although Conor has had everything thrown at him to beat his cancer, he still enjoys school, being with his friends, being involved in play and activities.” Said Connie.
Added Nathan “He challenges himself he doesn’t let what happen to him get him down too much – he’s taught himself to write with his left hand and he’s learning electric guitar! He loves music and singing and we’ll often hear him singing in the morning when he gets up or in the car when we are off to school”
Conor has revealed a fighting and determined spirit who is now inspiring people around Australia to support research into brain cancer. The Colgan family started Pirate Day Friday in 2015 to help raise funds for childhood brain cancer research. The initiative has raised over $140,000 for kid’s brain cancer research and was inspired by Conor’s need to wear an eye patch to protect his eye as he can no longer blink.
“Kids like Conor are our inspiration to keep fighting.” Said Col Reynolds Founder and Director of The Kids’ Cancer Project “They don’t give up and neither will we”.
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