THE family of a toddler who died from a rare brain tumour have made an impassioned plea for more funding into the disease. 

Three-year-old Logan Maclean passed away following a short battle with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, known as DIPG, an untreatable childhood brain cancer.

Thousands of people have now backed a petition launched by his gran Fiona Govan to force MPs to look at how research into the disease is funded. 

Glasgow Times: Logan, right, with his brother Ezra and gran Fiona Logan, right, with his brother Ezra and gran Fiona

According to charities, only one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the illness.

The family hope they can help others to avoid the pain they have gone through since Logan passed away in 2017.

Ms Govan, 50, said: “He was such a genuinely lovely boy who just loved his dinosaurs and stories.

“He was quite mischievous and he really loved his water. His mum, Sapphire [Maclean], even bought a paddling pool and put it in her living room. 

“He splashed around in it for hours. 

“He was just perfect and he should still be here today.”

Logan first showed symptoms in late 2016 when Fiona and Sapphire noticed he was limping.

“We took him to hospital and were asked to bring him in the next day for a scan,” Fiona said. “They carried out a number of tests and within days they told us of the diagnosis.

“We had never heard of DIPG but we were told it is a terminal cancer which affects children. 

“It wasn’t something we had ever thought about or were particularly aware of. 

“But, we were told there was nothing that could be done and we should just go away and make some memories as a family.

“Over time his speech began to go but he was always still smiling and was such a lovely boy.” 

During his treatment, Logan spent time in Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children and Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. 

His family say they are indebted to the work of medics in the city, who went above and beyond to make Logan’s final months as comfortable as possible.

“We will always be thankful to everyone,” Ms Govan said. “One nurse, Karen, even stayed with us long after her shift had finished on the day he passed away. 

“There was nothing more anyone could have done.” 

Glasgow Times:

The only standard treatment currently in use is palliative radiotherapy, which was given to Logan, who lived in Largs with his mum and brother Ezra, following his diagnosis. 

Sadly, he later developed multiple tumours in his brain on top of the DIPG and he passed away in October 2017. 

The family have been determined to make sure others avoid the same fate as Logan and they have launched a number of petitions to the UK Parliament. 

The first gained around 30,000 signatures while a second seemed to be on its way to passing the 100,000 needed for it to be in line for consideration by MPs. 

However, as per parliament rules, it was dumped when the general election was called last year, meaning Ms Govan had to start from the very beginning. 

But, an ongoing petition has already been signed more than 80,000 times. 

This is no small part down to the support of charity Abbie’s Army, launched by Amanda and Ray Mifsud, whose daughter Abbie died of DIPG in 2011, and Professor Karol Sikora. 

The high profile oncologist publicly backed the petition on Twitter, writing last month:

“It’s really hard to tell families that there’s no more that can be done for a child with cancer.

Glasgow Times: Professor Karol Sikora has backed the petition Professor Karol Sikora has backed the petition

“More research is needed, but we need help.

“If we can get this petition to 100,000, it will be considered for a debate in Parliament.”

The family have also been supported by Brain Tumour Research and Children with Cancer UK. 

Hugh Adams, spokesman for the charity Brain Tumour Research, said: “Our hearts go out to Fiona and to all of Logan’s family whose world has been shattered by this cruellest of cancers. We would urge anyone and everyone to get involved and to make a difference by signing this petition. It is vital that we continue to raise awareness of the shocking lack of investment for research into this disease.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Glasgow Times: Hugh AdamsHugh Adams

“It is unbearable to think that, here in the UK, one child every fortnight is diagnosed with DIPG.” 

Mark Brider, CEO Children with Cancer UK, said: “We fully support the petition led by Fiona Govan which calls for more funding and research into childhood cancers with the worst survival rates.

"Two years ago, the Government committed to increase funding into brain tumour research in part, due to the lobbying efforts of the Tessa Jowell Brain Tumour Fund and numerous cancer charities. Unless the research sector receives further support, early progress hopes will be lost.”

Ms Govan, who lives in Dalry, Ayrshire, added: “If people who maybe don’t know anything about this disease or haven’t been affected by it could just take two minutes to log on and sign a petition, they could stop other families from suffering like we have.” 

To sign the petition, visit here