THE devastated parents of a two-year-old boy who bravely battled a cancerous tumour have paid tribute to him after he “left for the stars”.

Dax Peek passed away on August 31, less than six months after he was initially diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma.

The toddler from Dunbar spent much of that time in and out of hospital before his mum and dad made the heartbreaking announcement that their son had died.

Parents Devon and Jonny said: “It is with tear-filled eyes and shattered hearts that we tell you that Dax left us for the stars on Monday, August 31.

“We are devastated but if we have to take the pain now so that he can be happy and free from fighting a monster then we’ll do it!

“He has made us so very proud and showed us a strength that we never knew existed.

"No amount of strength could beat this monster, though, so we told him it was time to shine instead of fight.

“He will always be the kindest and sweetest boy that we’ll ever come across.

"We hate that something so cruel has happened to such an innocent and loving little boy.

"We hate that we only had two years together but they are two years full of memories that we will always cherish.

“We’re so lucky that he picked us.

“We’ll love you always and forever, Daxi boy.”

Devon and Jonny, of the town’s Salisbury Walk, first noticed something was wrong during a family holiday at Disneyland Paris earlier this year to mark daughter Darcie’s sixth birthday.

At that time, the left side of Dax’s face had drooped and doctors in France thought it could be Bell’s palsy – a temporary weakness or lack of movement affecting one side of the face.

By the middle of March, Dax was struggling with his balance and was repeatedly sick.

He was taken to Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children where he was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma.

However, it was later found to be a rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare, aggressive children’s cancer.

Devon said: “Watching your child go through cancer and all of the horrific things that come with it has to be the worst form of torture for a parent.

“It’s torture to not be able to help, protect, save or have any control.

“It’s torture watching as this monster takes over his little body.

“It’s torture thinking of all the moments we’ll have stolen from us.

“Six months ago, I felt so complete, like a finished jigsaw; now my jigsaw is a broken mess.

“We are so lucky to have so much love and support from everyone and, although my heart will always ache, I know one day, piece by piece, my jigsaw will be a little less of a broken mess; not today, not tomorrow, not the day after that, but one day.”

When the initial diagnosis was made, Jonny, who worked at Torness Power Station, near Dunbar, for eight years and is now an instrument engineer offshore, and Devon, who is a dental nurse, launched an online appeal in a bid to raise more than £55,000 for treatment in the USA.

Family, friends, businesses in Dunbar and complete strangers got behind the campaign to raise in excess of £46,000.

Jonny, 32, thanked everyone for their support and said: “We are so humbled by everybody’s kind donations and the messages that we received.

“This will stay with us forever and we are still overwhelmed with the support that has now came from all over the world.”

Dax’s funeral took place yesterday (Wednesday), with numbers restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic, which meant some family members could not attend.

Fireworks were set off last night, with the family encouraging people to “look to the sky wherever you are as we say goodbye to Dax”.

They said: “No child should suffer this awful disease but the reality is that worldwide a child is diagnosed every three minutes. Child cancer and adult cancer are very different and so is the focus, research and funding.

“Child cancer does not get enough of any of those to be able to effectively research and create treatments and help the little warriors.”

Councillor Norman Hampshire lives on the same street as the family.

The Dunbar and East Linton ward member said: “It is very sad to hear.

“Obviously, it has been a tough time for the whole family and it is just sad nothing more could be done to change things.

“It is just very sad.”