Cricketers raise funds to help brave Angus

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2012
The Little family, from left, Caleb,12, Dave, Wendy, Angus, 5, and Jonathan, 10
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
CRICKETING FAMILY: : The Little family, from left, Caleb,12, Dave, Wendy, Angus, 5, and Jonathan, 10.

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Wellington's cricket community is rallying around a five-year-old boy diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Taita Cricket Club stalwart Dave Little and his wife, Wendy, are considering taking their son Angus to the United States for treatment. The move will be costly, and Wellington's cricket community has stepped up to the challenge.

"Umpire for Angus Day" on December 1 saw Cricket Wellington umpires and scorers donate their match fees to the Angus Little Brain Tumour Fund-Raising Appeal, raising more than $1200.

Retired umpire Jim Glynan donated $2 for every appeal of Dave's he turned down over the seasons - about $100, he reckoned.

On Saturday, as Mr Little coached the Taita Premier side, the opposing Johnsonville team presented him with a donation.

On Boxing Day, Cricket Wellington will donate $1 for every person through Basin Reserve's gates for a T20 match against Central Districts.

"The whole cricketing community has been awesome," Mr Little said.

Angus is a boisterous child, but the tumour has shown subtle signs of its grip.

It has pressed on a nerve, causing a sensation a doctor has likened to "thousands of spiders" on the skin. Angus scratches his face at night as a result.

As the tumour grows, it could rob Angus of his mobility and sight.

The Littles want to get him into a clinical trial at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

Mr Little, 38, was a leading wicket-taker across Wellington and Hutt Valley senior cricket for many years, making a first class appearance for Wellington in 1999.

He and Wendy learned of their son's condition after Angus' growth shot off the charts, and he began having stomach problems.

In December last year an MRI scan showed a lesion on his brain. He was diagnosed with a Ganglioglioma tumour wrapped around his brain stem. The tumour was not rare, but its unusual position made it impossible to operate.

"It's like a weed, it grows through everything," Mrs Little said.

The final prognosis is unknown, but the tumour is slow growing, and the Littles remain positive.

"The medical profession is developing very quickly, and we hope that we'll be able to give him a quality of life and a future," Mr Little said.

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- The Dominion Post

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