A MUM has received the crushing news that her seven-year-old son has one of the rarest cancers in the world.

Leo Turco from Blackburn was diagnosed four weeks ago with primary diffuse leptomeningeal atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT), a tumour that doctors said only three other people in the world have.

Because of the disease’s rarity, research is limited, but despite this the St Francis RC Primary School pupil is doing well, according to his mum, 27-year-old Adriana Turco.

ATRT is described as a dusting on the brain which is why it cannot be easily removed.

Miss Turco said: “Back in May he got poorly in the evening and could not walk on his left side.

“I went to put him on the sofa and he went really pale and had a seizure, so I went to get the next door neighbour and called an ambulance.”

He was at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for two weeks but doctors could not get to the bottom of the cause of the seizure.

A few weeks later he was having severe headaches, so he was rushed to Royal Blackburn Hospital on June 22 where he was intubated immediately as he could not breathe.

The following day he was transferred to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital while again doctors tried to find the cause.

After being sent home for a day, he was back the next day with an agonising headache and finally a biopsy on June 26 led to his diagnosis.

Miss Turco said: “It all happened so quickly, and my life fell apart from that day.

“I was devastated and knew something was not right when the nurse came in.

“When they told me, I just kept crying and things have just never been the same since then.

“We have a very long road ahead of us and do not know where this will lead.”

In two weeks, doctors will check if the recent chemotherapy has been working, and if not, he will continue with radiotherapy instead.

Miss Turco said: “I feel sick with worry, but I am luckily I have so much support around me.

“I see this stuff about children being poorly but never think it would happen to my son.

“I still think this is some sort of nightmare and it’s not real.”

Miss Turco is also mum to six-year-old Katie and nine-year-old Mia, who both miss seeing their little brother.

The girls are being looked after by family while Miss Turco is in and out of hospital with Leo.

She said: “They were a little confused at first, but I spoke to them and now they know their brother is not well, I could not be prouder of how they are dealing with it.”

Especially, as the family are already under stress due to Miss Turco’s sister being admitted to Southport hospital with a spinal cord injury that has left her paralysed five weeks ago.

Leo’s school has also been very supportive during this time, offering to take care of the girls when the lockdown was still in effect and giving well wishes.

Miss Turco has also found support at work at Premier Inn, Blackburn, who she says have been amazing.

The mum of three also thanked Shakeel Choudhry, who is cycling from Blackburn to Blackpool to raise money for Leo on July 29, with 40 others.

To donate to the fundraising page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/leosfightforlife