Brave tot inspires dad’s charity challenge

Stuart and Laura Johnson with their children Henry, two, and Edie, four
Stuart and Laura Johnson with their children Henry, two, and Edie, four

When two-year-old Henry Bear Johnson had hearing problems, his parents had no idea of the heart-breaking news they would receive.

For doctors found he had a brain tumour in May last year.

Henry Johnson

Henry Johnson

The diagnosis was a big shock for Henry’s parents, Stuart and Laura, of Thurstan Place, Chorley.

Stuart, 34, said: “It was hideous. It was the worst moment of my life.”

Henry underwent scans, a biopsy and other tests, and doctors said they would need to operate.

He went into surgery in June, but doctors could not remove the tumour.

They suggested giving chemotherapy treatment, but Stuart decided to try something else first.

He said: “I read a lot about it and didn’t feel right about doing chemotherapy. It was against what we believe in.

“We decided as a family not to eat any refined sugar or any meat. Henry is a vegan now.”

Doctors carried out scans every six weeks to three months to check on the brain tumour.

Stuart said: “Every time we have to sit and cross our fingers that the tumour hasn’t grown any more.

“It’s been really tough on the whole family.”

Just before Christmas, doctors told the family they were expecting the tumour to grow soon and chemotherapy treatment would be needed.

But at the latest scan, they had good news.

Stuart said: “They said they couldn’t believe it, but the brain tumour was showing less and less activity and was actually shrinking.

“We can only think that’s because of the changes we have made to his diet.

“Henry is going from strength to strength. They are so confident that he doesn’t have another scan until May.”

With the future looking brighter for Henry, Stuart can now look to a new challenge.

He is running the London Marathon next month to raise money for CLIC Sargent, a charity supporting children with cancer.

Stuart is a keen runner and did the Tough Mudder obstacle race last year to support the Brain Tumour Society.

He said: “I have always wanted to do a marathon.

“When you are going through something like this, that’s so stressful, we have different ways of dealing with it. My way of dealing with it is running.”

Stuart hopes to raise £2,000 for CLIC Sargent and is collecting donations online at