Matthew Kirk, 11, noticed he had gotten a mosquito bite on his nose while vacationing with his family. It made sense — they had just returned home from Menorca in the Mediterranean, and the bite left a small area of swelling on Matthew’s right nostril.
But over the next couple of weeks, Matthew’s bug bite got bigger. One day, a friend made a comment about his nose and said it didn’t look right.
There was something about hearing an outsider notice the bump that made Matthew’s family realize it could have been worse than a strange reaction to a mosquito. So, off to the doctor Matthew and his parents went. At first, doctors thought it was a bacterial infection.
The bump in his nostril was growing and spreading more until it was the size of a tennis ball. But then came further tests — and the real reason behind the strange swelling in Matthew’s face. Scroll down to discover Matthew’s terrifying diagnosis, and to hear her warning for people everywhere…
11-year-old Matthew Kirk noticed what he thought was a mosquito bite while on vacation with his family.
After returning home to the UK from the Mediterranean, Matthew’s mother also assumed it was a normal bug bite. The bump began as a small swelling on the right side of his nose.
But as the weeks passed, the bump grew larger and spread further.
“…it was only when a friend made a comment about his swollen nostril that we thought it could be something worse,” his mom Joanna told Caters News.
At first, doctors thought the bump was a bacterial infection. By this point, the mass was spreading towards his eye and became the size of a tennis ball.
Further tests revealed this was no mosquito bite or bacterial infection.
The lump was a deadly mass known as Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma — an rare cancerous tumor that only affects 10 people every year. Matthew’s family was shocked. It never occurred to them that he had cancer because he was such an active and healthy child.
Matthew’s parents traveled with their son from the UK to Oklahoma for an intensive nine-week treatment plan that uses proton beam therapy.
To avoid the traumatic hair loss that comes with chemotherapy, they also shaved his head in advance. The rounds of chemotherapy left Matthew’s face burnt and peeling, but the treatment was working.
Matthew impressed everyone around him with his unwavering strength and determination.
After returning to home the UK, Matthew underwent a final round of chemotherapy. Today, he is officially in remission.
Matthew and his family are excited to return to their normal lives — but stronger than ever before. Thank goodness they sought medical help when they did. Early detection is the key.
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