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Boy with brain tumor dresses as Spider-Man to inspire cancer patients

Boy with brain tumor dresses as Spider-Man to inspire cancer patients (CBS/CBS Newspath)

CHICAGO (CBS/CBS Newspath) - A British boy with a very rare brain tumor has turned to Spider-Man for strength. The young superhero fan is inspiring thousands in the battle for a brain cancer cure.

Six-year-old cancer patient Harry St. Ledger says when he’s dressed as Spider-Man, he feels brave.

Harry’s parents learned their son had a potentially lethal brain tumor when he went to the doctor with an ear infection that wouldn’t go away. He recently underwent radiation therapy at a London hospital – the only treatment option.

“This is the radiotherapy mask Harry wore during six weeks of radiotherapy,” explains Harry’s dad, Cairan St. Ledger. “They have to wear a mask because radiotherapy is delivered with pinpoint accuracy.”

When Harry went back to school, his friends — including his sister — dressed as superheroes to honor him.

“I dressed up as Harry because he’s my hero. He has been amazing, brave,” Emonie St. Ledger said.

Harry and his family have teamed up with the British charity, Brain Tumour Research, with a goal of raising $70,000 toward a cure.

“I think it is extraordinarily brave and selfless of Harry and his family at this most difficult time to think about others,” Brain Tumour Research spokesman Hugh Adams.

Not all children respond to the radiation, but “Harry Boy” – as he’s known to his family – says he believes in Spider-Man’s superhero powers.

“Who’s braver, Harry or Spider-Man?” he asks. Harry is quick to respond, “Me!”

His parents say they’ll need strength as they wait to see what the future will bring.

The American Cancer Society says brain and spinal cord tumors are the second most common cancers in children, after leukemia. They account for about 1 out of 4 childhood cancers.

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