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Toby Sebastian Clough, known as Toby, or simply ‘Tobes’ to close friends and family, was born on Tues 30th January 2007. He was born the same number of days early (15), the same weight (6lb8oz) and in the same delivery room at QMC, as his big brother, Sam (19 months older).

From being newborn, Toby was a happy and contented baby. Toby has always seemed to understand what life is about and seems to have a wisdom way beyond his age. Particularly wise was his decision to sleep through the night from 9 weeks old! He was taken along to all of Sam’s toddler activities, he was joining in as soon as he was physically capable. At Sam’s ‘tots tennis’ for 3–5 year olds, Toby knew no boundaries and joined in with the class from being less than 18 months old.

He was either blissfully unaware of the age gap, or more probably, simply didn’t want to let something so mundane get in the way of him having fun! He joins in, following the instructions and waits for his turn in the queue. On the occasions he thinks things are moving too slowly ,he waltzes to the front and somehow manages to get away with it!

People respond positively to him almost regardless of what he’s actually doing! He’s highly communicative, and sees the funny side of things, having the most infectious giggly laugh you could hear. He’s bright and his aptitude shows through already. He knew his colours, and could count well before the age of 2, and regularly does jigsaws designed for children much older.

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Proton Therapy offers treatment with fewer side effects. Put simply, the way the radiation scatters when the beam is directed is much more controllable and localised with protons, compared to traditional ‘photon’ radiation.

The only downside was the small matter of Proton Therapy not being available in the UK. Despite the consultant being initially sceptical he seems to have come round, and is now focusing his efforts on working through the ‘system’ of the NHS to get funding agreed for it.

All other costs for us to live out there and have any family visit us will have to be covered ourselves. It’s possible that could be for approx 2-3 months. Toby will also require extra support for the rest of his life. Be it an increase in premiums on any insurance for him, through to help and support on his learning and self-esteem following the cosmetic impact. So the need for some financial support for him. If the NHS don’t come up with the goods, we’ll need to fund the lot, if they do, we’ll need to fund………quite a lot!

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