Talented teenager loses cancer fight

Young Achievers 2011 Jake Musson
Young Achievers 2011 Jake Musson

A TALENTED teenager who had a bright future ahead of him has lost his brave battle against a brain tumour.

Jake Musson loved motorbikes, was gifted at art and wanted to become a vet.

But he was diagnosed with the tumour last February.

‘Happy-go-lucky’ triplet Jake underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy – and his condition appeared to have improved by the summer.

But his parents noticed he was starting to deteriorate towards the end of last year and, in February, he was transferred to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

The 13-year-old and his family celebrated the 50th birthday of his mum, Jane, at the Loughborough hospice but he died a month later on Saturday March 17.

His father, Chris, 52, said Jake and his sisters, Holly and Paige, were born following fertility treatment, after the couple spent 10 years trying to have a child.

Chris, of Lambton Close, Ilkeston, said: “Jake was such a happy-go-lucky lad. He never complained about anything. He was shocked when he was diagnosed with the tumour but I think he took it quite well. He knew what he had and he just got on with life as best as he could.

“We knew we were going to have triplets before they were born so it wasn’t a surprise. It was hard work but Jake and his sisters were always best mates – even when he was a typical annoying brother.

“You see it on the news how children develop brain tumours but you don’t expect it to happen to your own child. Jake will really be missed.”

Last year, Jake – formerly a pupil at Charlotte Infant School and Granby Junior School – received a Derbyshire County Council young achievers award for his courage following his diagnosis.

He was nominated by staff at his school, Ormiston Enterprise Academy.

Jake had been unsteady on his feet in January last year and, after seeing his doctor, was referred to hospital – where the brain tumour was discovered.

Towards the end of 2011, doctors confirmed his tumour had grown and he was admitted to the Queen’s Medical Centre, in Nottingham, and later taken to Rainbows Hospice.

Chris said: “He was supposed to be going to Rainbows anyway for some respite but he received end-of-life care instead.

“The nurses and staff there were fantastic. Jake really enjoyed the place, doing the art and the music.

“He was very good at art and he liked it. He also liked motorbikes and going to see the British Superbike Championship at Donington Park and his favourite music was rap.

“He enjoyed watching TV, playing on his Xbox, used to do roller-skating and he liked a bit of rugby. He was just a lively lad and still managed to be a typical moody teenager when he turned 13.”

Chris said his son was also a popular boy at school. “He got on with everyone, including his teachers, and he liked school and he really enjoyed the more practical parts,” he added.

“He was very innovative and intelligent and was good at putting this together. He wanted to be a vet when he grew up. We were devastated to lose him.”