AN Anglesey mum has spoken of the bravery of her “tough little cookie” son who is suffering with a rare genetic condition.

Nine-year-old Koren Jeffcoate, of Rhydwyn, near Llanfaethlu, is suffering with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). It is a genetic disorder that causes tumours to develop anywhere in the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Koren, who is a pupil at Ysgol Rhyd y Llan was diagnosed when he was six and now has a large tumour. He is due an operation on his right eye in February.

His mum, Rhian Backhouse, 29, is now on a mission to raise awareness of the condition. Koren’s story has been filmed by S4C and there is also a Facebook page: Koren’s journey with neurofibromatosis type1- NF1 where full-time mum of two Rhian has posted the symptoms to help others be aware of the condition.

Koren is also to receive a share of money raised during the Holyhead New Year’s Day dip. One of the organisers Shan Spencer, who runs Shan’s Barbers, in Valley, has been fundraising for Koren for several years. She was instrumental in noticing a change in his eye.

His mum said: “I took Koren for a haircut, and it was Shan who noticed a slight swelling was looking a bit bigger. We first thought it was just water on the eye, but later discovered it was neurofibromatosis type1- NF1. It is in incredibly rare, it wasn’t spotted when he was born. He had the tell tale ‘cafe au lait’ marks on his skin. I thought they were just birth marks. Now I want to make sure others know what to look out for and to raise awareness.

“He has had to go through lots of painful injections but he is a tough little cookie, I just want to thank Shan and others who raised money for him at the dip. The money isn’t so important, my aim is to help other people.”