A MAJOR fund-raising bid has been launched to pay for potentially life-saving treatment for a brave Worcester boy who has seen his cancer return just months after a successful stem cell transplant.
The heartbroken parents of five-year-old Oscar Saxelby-Lee need £500,000 to pay for the treatment after he was diagnosed just before Christmas last year and have rallied ‘Oscar’s Army’ in a bid to save the little boy’s life.
After being told Oscar’s leukaemia had returned, mum Olivia Saxelby and dad Jamie Lee were dealt a further blow when they were told there may be no further treatment options left for Oscar available on the NHS.
At present, children with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in Oscar’s position are able to undergo CAR-T therapy in the UK.
Unfortunately, there is no such therapy available for children such as Oscar with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Oscar’s care team are currently looking at the possibility of the Pitmaston Primary School youngster receiving this treatment as part of a trial.
They are also looking at the possibility of a second bone marrow transplant that also will most likely need to take place outside the NHS.
Currently, the NHS can typically only offer a second transplant to patients 12 months on from their first transplant.
But Olivia admitted her little boy may not have that long to keep the disease at bay.
“We were so grateful earlier this year when thousands of people across the globe signed up to become stem cell donors in the faith Oscar would find a donor and we finally got the go ahead with a 10/10 match,” she said.
“After further chemotherapy, full body radiotherapy and three months of gruelling recovery post-transplant, we were told the devastating news that Oscar’s leukaemia is back.
“Once again, a massive blow to us all as a family, but especially our sweet little boy who finally started to feel like he was getting his childhood life back.
“Having been told options are very limited from the beginning of this journey, we have never lost hope, with Oscar’s strength and determination throughout.
“This is why we have made the decision to give our warrior the best shot at a lasting cure that we can. This is the least he deserves after such a torturous battle,” she added.
Oscar’s mum revealed the information about the trial indicated they would need to raise the six-figure sum to make it possible, although the final amount is yet to be confirmed.
“This huge amount is the price we have been given to give our boy a chance at life. If you are able to help in any way, we would be so grateful,” she said.
Oscar’s parents have decided to fund-raise through the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust so the charity can help and support them through this next hurdle.
All the money raised will be ring-fenced for his use, separate from general charity funds so the general work of the trust will not be affected.
Any funds not used to help Oscar with his treatment will be used by the charity to fund research into childhood cancers like Oscar’s to look for better and kinder treatments for children.