13th Dec, 2019

'Thank you from the bottom of our hearts’ - Oscar's family pay tribute

Rob George 9th Oct, 2019

A BRAVE Worcester five-year-old who has captured the hearts of fund-raisers from the across the city and beyond is set for potentially life-saving treatment after a staggering £500,000 was raised in just over three weeks.

Oscar Saxelby-Lee’s mum and dad Olivia Saxelby and Jamie Lee paid tribute to all those who donated and admitted they were ‘gob-smacked’ by the overwhelming generosity shown by people.

The Pitmaston Primary School youngster battled T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia after being diagnosed just before Christmas last year and hopes of a recovery were boosted after a successful transplant.

But his devoted parents were spurred into action on September 13 after the devastating news Oscar’s leukaemia had returned following his bone marrow transplant.

At this point, they were told that there were no further options available on the NHS for his type of leukaemia.

Oscar’s parents vowed to fund-raise to ensure if any possible treatment options were available outside the NHS, they would pay for them.

One of these potential treatments was Car-T therapy in Singapore. Currently, in the UK, Car-T therapy is already available for children with the more common B cell variant, but not for children with the harder to treat T-cell leukaemia.

Over the last three weeks, the family have been overwhelmed with cash from children donating all their pocket money, firemen cycling from Lands’ End to John O’ Groats, to people shaving off their hair, and to businesses donating their entire day’s takings.

In a statement, Oscar’s parents said the support of the community had been ‘simply incredible’.

“We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts – Worcestershire, you are truly amazing! But, we still need your help more than ever…. Please do not stop fund-raising,” Ms Saxelby said.

“If you are holding an event or attending one, please still go ahead. £500,000 is enough to cover the treatment and care Oscar would require if all went to plan.

“Now we must make sure we have contingency funds available should Oscar need more care or have a more complicated recovery whilst there. As we all know, this journey hasn’t gone smoothly, so we must be prepared for any additional hurdles,” she added.

Doctors treating Oscar are awaiting the results of further tests to determine the next steps. When the best treatment plan for Oscar is confirmed, the funding will allow the family to move quickly.

Dr Jen Kelly, founder of the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, which has supported Oscar’s family with their campaign paid tribute to fund-raisers.

“In particular the amazing team at Pitmaston Primary School; both the staff and parents who have gone to the most extraordinary lengths to make Oscar’s huge campaign a reality,” she said.

“All of the funds that we have received for Oscar are ringfenced for his use and we hope every penny raised can be used to fund his life-saving treatment.

“However if the funds are not able to be used, for any reason, his parents have asked they are utilised to fund research into the type of cancer Oscar has, so they can help other children,” Dr Kelly added.

Visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search Hand in Hand for Oscar for more.

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