Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is arousing surges of generosity to help young patients from all over the world in their fight against cancer.
6-YEAR-OLD DIAGNOSED WITH RARE CANCER
Eve Batten, a 6-year-old girl from the UK diagnosed with rare cancer after her parents thought she was squinting because of regular iPad use, needs help to get proton therapy treatment in America.
Eve was diagnosed after her parents noticed that her eyes had started to cross over and took her to the ophthalmologist. They thought their daughter had damaged her eyesight from spending too much time looking at her iPad screen, but it was actually a very rare brain tumor pushing on her opting nerves. Doctors found it difficult to make the myoepithelial carcinoma diagnosis, as cases are so uncommon: the condition typically affects salivary glands and has caused brain cancer to only seven other children worldwide. After getting the tumor removed, Eve suffered another crushing blow when doctors informed the family that it was cancerous. Her devastated mom said: “It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous – we never expected she had a brain tumour and just thought she would be getting glasses to correct her squint.” She immediately started 12 weeks of chemotherapy and bravely returned to school just months after her major operation. Her proud mom said: “Eve is just an amazing person – she has not questioned anything and has just got on with it. She has a scar on her head from ear to ear which makes being bald even worse, but she is still a cheeky little monkey.” Eve now needs radiation therapy to complete her treatment, and her family hope that they’ll be able to fundraise enough for her to receive proton beam therapy in America. So far, the family has raised £8,000 of their £150,000 target, and are urging the public to donate to their JustGiving page.
RAISING MONEY FOR ALEX’S JOURNEY
Three civil nuclear constabulary (CNC) officers cycled from Cumbria to Newcastle in a day to raise money for Alexander Goodwin, a 9-year-old boy with Ewing sarcoma, a very rare type of bone cancer which affects fewer than 30 children a year.
Alex was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in his right thigh, a rare bone cancer that only affects children. His dad Jeff, a former CNC sergeant, has been fundraising to raise £120,000 to take advantage of the latest treatments for Alex’s type of cancer, including proton beam therapy and other treatments which may not be available to his son on the NHS. Insp Matt Fowler, Sgt Tim Cook and Sgt Tom Davies completed the 112-mile cycle ride in under 8 hours to help raise money. “Alex is currently in America having the first stage of his treatment, however the fundraising efforts continue and even though we have completed our cycle, we are still raising funds to support this amazing cause and you can still donate via our Just Giving page”, Mat Fowler said. “Having never cycled this far before in my life, there were moments of doubt leading up to the day but that all changed when Alex left us a video message. It gave us the encouragement and inspiration we needed and brought home exactly why we were riding. So far, we have raised over £1,460 for Alexander’s Journey. We would all like to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated to the cause and to all those colleagues who helped us with the bike ride. News of Alex’s progress and details of the incredible fundraising efforts from across the country are available on his website.
LEO WAITING FOR VITAL CANCER THERAPY
Supporters of little Leo Bermejo, who is battling a rare type of brain cancer, are planning to bombard Twitter in the hope of persuading more people, including celebrities, to donate to his fighting fund.
This week, Leo’s family, who live in Vera Playa, Spain, will travel with Leo to Merseyside’s famous Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in England. There, surgeons will remove the last of the aggressive tumors in Leo’s brain. But he must then recover sufficiently to be taken to the US and a treatment center in Oklahoma that uses proton therapy to target his tumors. Surgeons believe proton therapy will give Leo the best chance of recovery and allow him to recover some of the functions he’s lost to the cancer. Leo’s parents need to raise €176,000 to take him to the US for the treatment that may save his life. So far, boy band 911, comedian Keith Lemon and the Jeremy Kyle Show are just some of those to retweet the youngster’s posts. Leo’s parents believe that if enough people donate just €5 they will hit their target, especially on February 4, which is World Cancer Day. To donate to Leo’s gofundme page go to www.gofundme.com/leothelion3