American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy reveals four-year-old son's cancer battle

He has donated $10 million to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where his son has been receiving treatment

Sarah Young
Tuesday 23 October 2018 10:24
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Ryan Murphy has revealed that his four-year-old son, Ford Theodore Miller Murphy, has secretly been battling cancer for two years.

The creator of hit TV shows such as American Horror Story and Glee made the announcement in an emotional Instagram post in which he also pledged to donate $10 million (£7,698,550) to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where his son has been receiving treatment.

Murphy revealed that Ford was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2016 and has since undergone numerous procedures.

“I’d like you to meet Ford Theodore Miller Murphy. Today is a big day in his and our family’s lives,” Murphy wrote.

“Two years ago, this sweet little innocent boy with a deep belly laugh and an obsession with Monster Trucks was diagnosed with neuroblastoma…an often fatal paediatric cancer.”

A rare type of cancer, neuroblastoma mostly affects babies and young children. According to the NHS, the disease most commonly occurs in one of the adrenal glands situated above the kidneys, or in the nerve tissue that runs alongside the spinal cord in the neck, chest, tummy or pelvis.

It can also spread to other organs such as the bone marrow, bone, lymph nodes, liver and skin. Currently, neuroblastoma affects around 100 children each year in the UK and is most common in children under the age of five.

Murphy went on to explain that Ford’s cancer was “an abdominal tumour the size of a tennis ball” and was discovered during a normal check up with his paediatrician.

He also thanked his husband for staying strong while describing himself as “a trembling wreck” and announced that he will be donating to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to say thank you for the love and care his son received during treatment.

Murphy ended the post by updating fans on his son’s progress, revealing that he is now “thriving.”

“He just celebrated his fourth birthday, a milestone we are all so thrilled about.”

The NHS says that symptoms of neuroblastoma vary depending on where the cancer is and whether it has spread. However, early signs can include:

  • a swollen painful tummy, sometimes in association with constipation and difficulty passing urine  
  • breathlessness and difficulty swallowing 
  • a lump in the neck 
  • blueish lumps in the skin and bruising, particularly around the eyes 
  • weakness in the legs and an unsteady walk, with numbness in the lower body, constipation and difficulty passing urine 
  • fatigue, loss of energy, pale skin, loss of appetite and weight loss
  • bone pain, a limp and general irritability 
  • jerky eye and muscle movements 

If you are concerned that your child might be seriously ill you should contact NHS 111 or see your GP.

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