no one fights alone

Morgan's Story

The hope is that sharing our journey will ensure that we can raise awareness around childhood cancers, provide emotional support to other parents and help others in similar situations.

Morgan ridler morgans army charity fight against childrens cancer
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A Growing Concern: Noticing the Changes

Shortly after the birth of his baby sister in April 2021, when Morgan was 2.5 years old, we observed changes in his physique that were incongruous with his activity level and diet. Despite being active and having generally good eating habits, he was gaining weight, becoming more lethargic, and experiencing unusual hair growth. We were repeatedly reassured that it was a natural growth phase or related to his diet. Nevertheless, our parental instincts sensed that something wasn’t right.

Subsequent visits to the GP for his recurring stomach issues did little to address our concerns until we sought a private consultation. This led to a referral to a pediatric consultant and a series of tests, including a liver ultrasound. The results were alarming: Morgan had a large adrenal tumour, 14cm in size. The subsequent medical odyssey took us from Morriston Hospital in Swansea to the Rainbow Ward at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff, and eventually to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for surgery.

A Roller-Coaster of Hope and Despair: Morgan's Battle with Cancer

The diagnosis revealed that the tumour was overproducing cortisol and testosterone, explaining his weight gain, body changes, and behavioural shifts. After a successful surgery in Birmingham on December 8th, 2021, Morgan began chemotherapy. However, a post-op scan unveiled ‘spots’ in his left lung, indicating the cancer had metastasized. This changed our treatment course, increasing chemo rounds and leading us to Great Ormond St Hospital (GOSH) in London for further surgery.

By July 2022, after facing the numerous challenges of cancer treatment, we received the uplifting news that Morgan was cancer-free. Unfortunately, this respite was brief. By November, new spots appeared in his lung, and by December, another tumour had manifested in his abdomen. Further treatments in 2023, from surgery to various chemotherapy regimens, failed to curb the aggressive cancer.

Tragically, Morgan transitioned to palliative care in June 2023. A mere 12 days later, on June 28th, he took his last breath at Ty Hafan. Our hearts are broken.

In sharing our heart-wrenching journey, we aim to elevate awareness around childhood cancers and offer a beacon of support and understanding for families navigating similar trials.

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It’s been a very tough time for mum and dad but we have been able to do some fundraising which has provided a healthy distraction to help us give back to the charities that helped us. Our fundraising grew and grew until we were in the position to set up Morgan’s Army as a charitable foundation to support families of children diagnosed with cancer in South Wales.

You can see the whole journey so far and follow future updates  on Morgan’s social media (Instagram, Tiktok and Facebook)

As ever a huge thank you for all your support, lots of love from the Ridler Family (Natalie, Matt, Morgan and Rhiannon) xx

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