Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping patients from all over the world battle against cancer.
SUPER SID’S MOM THANKFUL FOR SUPPORT
The mom of Sid Earley, a 7-year-old schoolboy from the UK who was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called ependymoma, has thanked their local newspaper’s golden-hearted readers for all their support.
Sid underwent a 10-hour surgery on his brain after he was diagnosed with ependymoma, a rare, large cancerous tumor centered around his brain stem. He must now receive intensive proton therapy in Jacksonville, USA, at the rate of 30 minutes of treatment, Monday to Friday for 10 weeks. Although the NHS have agreed to fund his treatment, they will not be able to cover the living costs or the cost of flying out his identical twin brother Mac, which devastated his mom Alex and dad Simon. However, after a campaign, hundreds of people stepped up to raise cash to keep the inseparable pair of brothers together. £13,631 has been raised of the £5,000 target and Mac can now travel with the family to Jacksonville. Alex said: “We have just been totally bowled over by the support shown to our family. For us it was never an option to travel without Mac. You know the first time Sid walked after his operation was when he saw Mac, the difference it made having his brother there was unbelievable. I’m unbelievably grateful of the generosity and kindness shown to us and I just don’t know how I can thank everyone individually.” Last week Sid and Mac were awarded Primary School Pupil of the Year at the Wirral Globe School Awards.
POLICE OFFICER BATTLING CANCER
Debbie Hall, 49, is a police constable from the UK who won’t accept her terminal cancer diagnosis. Fighting for her life with the help of friends and colleagues, she is getting closer to her £75,000 target to fund groundbreaking treatment.
Debbie has been hurt by cancer before. In 2007 her mother Hilda died at 58 of breast cancer. Fifteen years ago Debbie was diagnosed with the same condition and underwent a mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In 2015 tests revealed that she had bone and liver cancer. After chemotherapy, her tumors reduced in size but by the beginning of this year they had grown again, making the search for other options more urgent. In Germany there is the possibility of proton therapy, which attacks tumors with a radiation beam, and immunotherapy, which boosts the immune system. “Christie’s hospital have informed me that there is another treatment they can consider. They’re looking at putting me on targeted therapy, which potentially could run quite well with proton therapy,” Debbie says. In March, her colleagues launched a campaign to fund groundbreaking treatment in Germany. About £54,000 of the £75,000 target has been raised. “The people that are supporting me: my friends, family, the police family, people I don’t even know. I just can’t put into words how it makes me feel. I’m so grateful to everybody.” To support the fundraising campaign for Debbie, visit www.gofundme.com/help-save-debbies-life
Raising awareness of childhood cancer is often just as important as raising money for more vital research. That’s why Oscar’s mother is sharing the story of her son’s battle against cancer.
“Oscar was born in June 2014. He was a normal healthy happy little toddler. So in June 2017, we were shocked beyond belief to receive the worst news any parent could ever be given. Oscar was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma of the right temporal fossa. Our world was completely shattered. Within days of diagnosis, Oscar was admitted to hospital to receive round one of 13 sessions of chemotherapy. On 28th November, Oscar’s mass was surgically removed, but due to inadequate healthy tissue margins, he would still need proton therapy to hopefully reduce the risk of relapse. So in February 2018 we flew out to Germany to start proton therapy. We lived in Germany for 7 weeks while Oscar received 28 sessions of treatment while under general anaesthetic, 5 days each week. This was Oscar’s final course of treatment and on our return to the UK, he finally got to ring the End of Treatment bell. As a family we have been to hell and back, but Oscar in true ‘superhero style’, has shown tremendous courage throughout and has never complained. He has struggled with terrible sickness, joint pain and fatigue, but this hasn’t stopped him from always having the biggest smile on his face and filling the room with his infectious laugh. Oscar is doing really well now and life is slowly returning to some kind of normal. We know we are one of the lucky ones.”