A PROMISING footballer’s life is on hold after being given the devastating news he’s got cancer.

Lee Watson, 16, should be currently taking his Nat 5 exams but started suffering from unbearable pain in his left foot last autumn while playing for Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts.

By January, he was given the heartbreaking news that he had Ewing sarcoma – a bone cancer most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults.

A tumour the size of a melon had developed on the bottom of the Camdean teenager’s spine and was pushing on his leg muscles, causing his painful symptoms.

Thankfully, following intensive chemotherapy, test results show that the tumour has shrunk to the size of a lemon already, but he still has a long way to go.

Mum Michelle told the Press: “When he was playing football he was staggering and we saw him almost dragging his leg along.

“His doctor at first thought it was growing pains and he started going to physio but the pain just escalated and he couldn’t put his foot down.

“It was getting worse and worse and he ended up falling at school.

“On December 27, he went for an MRI scan and by January 8 we were given the news it was cancer.

“That date is ingrained on my brain.”

Lee is coming to the end of his chemotherapy course, which has included nine rounds of intensive treatment.

It’s unclear what will happen next because of where his tumour is on the bottom of his spine.

There has been a lot of research into possible causes of Ewing sarcoma but the exact cause remains unknown.

Experts think it may be related in some way to periods of rapid bone growth, something Lee has experienced over the last year.

“I don’t really know what day of the week it is at the moment, it all just rolls into one,” Michelle added.

“It’s a US doctor at the Sick Kids Hospital that’s leading his treatment as part of a new trial.

“It seems to be working because it was the size of a melon but just a couple of weeks ago it was a size of a lemon.

“Hopefully at the next scan, it will just be the size of a grape.

“It could be radiotherapy next which will either be in Manchester or Florida.

“As the tumour is on his spine, it’s extremely difficult to have surgery because you have to scoop it out.”

Lee, a St Columba’s pupil, has been extremely ill during his treatment and has been admitted to a high dependency unit twice.

Like every 16-year-old in Scotland right now, he expected to be taking his Nat 5 exams, but not being able to attend school for most of the academic year, his education has been put on hold.

Michelle continued: “His teachers have tried to do some tuition with him but he’s just been too unwell. His life is on hold.

“He was out playing football, training several times a week – he had a very active life.

“Even though Lee’s got food allergies he’s never been ill and it’s never held him back.

“He’s the youngest of two older brothers and one older sister, he’s just my wee son.

“We’ve never experienced anything like this before as a family; it was a complete shock.

“When you look at a 16-year-old you’re don’t expect to see that, it’s just one of those things.

“I had pain in December and I actually thought I might have had cancer – I never thought it would be my son.”

Lee said: “I had a very active life but I just don’t feel like I want to do anything.

“I’ve lost weight, I’ve been fed out of a tube and I’ve lost my hair.

“When I found out the diagnosis, I was annoyed, I should be doing all my exams but now I’m not sure what will happen.

“I’m in and out of hospital most weeks and I miss playing football but my friends come and visit.”