Raith fan Lee celebrates cancer all-clear with match return

A teenage boy who has undergone pioneering treatment to remove a tumour has told of his joy at getting the all-clear so he can go watch his beloved Raith Rovers play again.

By Scott McCartney
Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 1:37 pm
From left, dad Stuart, Lee, his brother Cameron, and mum Michelle, at the Forfar game on Saturday.
From left, dad Stuart, Lee, his brother Cameron, and mum Michelle, at the Forfar game on Saturday.

Lee Watson was able to see his first game since last October when he travelled to Forfar to enjoy Saturday’s 2-1 win.

Lee had struggled with leg pain towards the end of last year, but it was initially attributed to growing pains.

However, an MRI showed that it was an aggressive tumour “the size of a melon” growing at the base of his spine.

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But after a series of treatments in Germany, the Rosyth-based football fan (16) was finally able to join the Raith travelling support again.

He said: “I got the news about a week before when I got my tube removed from my nose, because I didn’t like going out in public with it.

“When I got that out, I knew I would be able to go to the football.

“They’re not the best team, but they’re my team. You just support your team no matter what, so I was pretty happy to go along and see them win.

“It was great to see them scoring at the last minute.”

Lee, who plays with Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, said he noticed something was wrong last year.

“I was playing football. I just had hamstring problems. I tried everything, cold baths, pillow under my leg, Deep Heat, but it just kept getting worse.”

Lee’s mum Michelle said: “He couldn’t put his foot down, but the doctor said it was growing pains because he’s really tall.

“He got physio and went back to school and then he fell and it was gradually getting worse.

“Luckily the physio pushed for him to get an MRI.

“We never in a hundred years thought it would be a tumour. They said they thought it was live so it will be cancer.”

Lee was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer.

However, he began chemotherapy in January, along with pioneering proton beam therapy in Essen, Germany.

As a result, the tumour has now shrunk significantly.

Michelle added: “He couldn’t get surgery because of where it is.

“It is still there, there’s only a wee bit left, about five centimetres, but that’s dead.”

And Lee is already working to get his strength back.

“I was obviously pleased to hear it was working, but I didn’t realise how long it would take to get fully better, as I still need physio.”

And as his health improves, Lee is now setting his sights on his next goals.

“I’m looking forward to playing football again and maybe go on holiday as well.”

In the meantime, he’ll be cheering Raith on against Falkirk this week.