Kiwi mum takes cancer boy's fight back in court

Last updated 08:08 04/01/2013
Sally Roberts
FIGHT AGAINST TREATMENT: Sally Roberts says there is no evidence that radiotherapy will save her son's life.
Neon Roberts
LITTLE BATTLER: Neon Roberts.

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The Kiwi mother fighting against cancer treatment for her seven-year-old boy has announced an 11th-hour appeal against court-ordered radiotherapy.

Sally Roberts, 37, and formerly of Auckland, has made headlines across the world after her prolonged and increasingly ugly battle to stop her son receiving conventional treatment for a malignant brain tumour.

Doctors say that without radiotherapy Neon Roberts could be dead within weeks, but his mother disagrees.

Roberts has told a British morning television show she would be appealing a recent court order forcing her to allow doctors to treat her son.

"I feel there are other options out there that we haven't explored and I would really like the opportunity to explore these other options.

"I wasn't given enough time last time to present them with what I wanted to, and that was a professional expert - a medic to back what I'm saying," she reportedly told Daybreak.

Roberts told presenters she feared the side effects would outweigh the benefits, and a fear of missing out on grandchildren was a big motive.

She said Neon's cancer was not as aggressive as doctors were suggesting.

"That's what they keep saying but I disagree," she said.

She spoke of doctors in Germany and China who were using "hyperthermia" heat treatment to mitigate the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and said doctors in Britain were at odds with other countries.

Despite this, Roberts has been unable to find an expert to back her case in court.

After being caught by British police when she took Neon on the run last year to avoid treatment, a family court judge early last month ordered treatment to go ahead.

In October, Neon had a malignant tumour removed from his brain but the follow-up radiotherapy was not carried out in full.

When it was confirmed the tumour had reappeared, the court ordered doctors to operate and carry out the follow-up radiotherapy.

Neon spent Christmas with his father Ben Roberts, who is estranged from wife Sally.

She was reportedly shunned from their family Christmas, and doctors have spent the past week preparing Neon for radiotherapy.

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