The parents of a five-year-old boy from Nottingham have raised an incredible £93,000 to give their son the best chance of beating cancer, however, they still need to raise a further £70,000 by January to reach their fundraising target of £163,000 for Henry to access treatment without delay.
This time last year Henry was having surgery to remove his tumour and part of his liver after being diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. As a result, Henry became unwell and had to spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day in hospital.
“It was a very weird Christmas; we tried our best to spend as much time together on the ward. That was probably the weirdest part, the family being in two halves,” says dad, Graham.
This Christmas after completing frontline treatment, Henry is looking forward to being able to spend Christmas at home with his mum, dad and little brother and best friend Oliver. He has also been recognised for his bravery throughout treatment and has been awarded the Nottinghamshire Live Bravery and Courage Award.
Henry was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer, in 2019 just before his fourth birthday. Over the past 20 months Henry, affectionately known as ‘Henry the Brave’ has undergone chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell harvest, high dose chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation. He completed frontline treatment in November and has recently had his end of treatment scans. His parents now face an anxious wait over Christmas for his scan results to see if Henry is cancer free.
Henry’s future is uncertain, as high-risk neuroblastoma is a particularly aggressive and complex cancer to treat. Sadly, the disease returns in almost 50% of children and if this happens, less than one in ten will survive.
It means his parents, Graham and Rachel are desperate for their son to access the Bivalent Vaccine clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York as soon as he finishes frontline treatment, which is showing real promise in reducing the chances of relapse. They are fundraising for £163,000 to pay for his best chance at remaining cancer-free. The treatment is not available on the NHS.
“Fundraising during lockdown has been hard, daunting, and overwhelming at times. We are incredibly grateful to our supporters. Still a long way to go but we want to thank everyone who’s run, walked, cycled, baked, sung,” says Graham.
The family have teamed up with the charity Solving Kids’ Cancer to help them raise the funds and access the potentially life-saving treatment by January 2021. The family have so far raised an incredible £93,000.