Send a card to mark a very special birthday for little Luca Jarvis who has been battling a brain tumour

Luca Jarvis who has recently had operations for a brain tumour, with his mum Hollie Shreeve. Hollie

Luca Jarvis who has recently had operations for a brain tumour, with his mum Hollie Shreeve. Hollie is appealing for people to send Luca cards for his second birthday as he loves letters coming through the letterbox. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A Norwich mother whose son has been battling a brain tumour is appealing for people to help make his birthday extra special by sending him lots of cards.

Luca Jarvis will turn two on January 26, and ever since he was born, he has been in and out of hospital.

His mother, Hollie Shreeve, 23, said her young son loved it when post arrived at their home in Southwell Road and that he would be so excited to receive lots of cards on his special day.

She said the cards would also be a way of showing Luca exactly how courageous he has been when he is older.

'For someone who is not yet two, he has been through so much. I feel like we have literally spent most of the past two years in hospital,' said Miss Shreeve, a receptionist at the Oaklands Hotel in Thorpe St Andrew.

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'I obviously think he's really brave, but the birthday cards will show how other people also think he is brave.'

From the moment he was born – on January 26, 2015 – Luca has faced medical battles.

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He spent the first three weeks of his life in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and because he was born with talipes – a condition which meant his feet turned inwards – he was put in two full-length leg casts.

After this he was given special boots and bars to wear 23 hours a day for three months, and he will have to continue to keep wearing these at night until he is four.

But Luca's medical problems did not stop there, because from January last year he started to have fits which, despite medication, became more frequent and severe.

In April Luca was diagnosed with epilepsy and, in May, Miss Shreeve was told that he had developed this because of a brain tumour. He was then sent to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

'Obviously it was scary but you just have to get on with it,' said Miss Shreeve. 'You have to be positive.'

She said that because at the time her son was still continuing to have fits, doctors were initially unable to operate, however in July Luca underwent a procedure so doctors could remove a few segments of the tumour so that they could run tests on it.

'It was described to me like a raspberry ripple ice-cream – Luca's brain was like the ice-cream and the tumour was the ripple,' said Miss Shreeve.

'On September 20 they operated to remove as much [of the tumour] as they could and from there we are just kind of waiting. Luca last had an MRI scan on December 19 and we are going back to the hospital on Monday to find out the results.'

She said Luca's speech had been affected, but that he was much brighter since the operation.

'He's much better in himself. He hasn't had a fit for a few months. Our daily life before revolved around every time he had a fit, and we could not do normal things. Now our daily life is a lot better.'

She said her son had a cheeky character and a lovely smile.

'He loves In The Night Garden and anything car-related. He's a typical boy. He loves cars and trains,' she said.

In December Miss Shreeve raised about £1,000 to buy new toys for the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital and the Children's Assessment Unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

She said it was a way of saying thank you for all the help they have given her son.

Miss Shreeve put out the birthday card appeal for Luca on Facebook only about a week ago, and already three parcels and about 30 cards have been sent - including one from America.

Send cards to: Luca Jarvis, 114 Southwell Road, Norwich, NR1 3HS.

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