Trial Offers Hope for Child Cancer Sufferers


Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that affects around 100 children the UK annually.

Neuroblastoma is also one of the most common childhood cancers in South Africa, and it can be very aggressive and hard to treat.

In early 2017, Luke Bell from Darlington began falling asleep in his school lessons, prompting his worried parents to rush him to the doctor.

Mark and Becky Bell thought their son may have had anaemia but it never crossed their minds that he would be diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma – a rare form of cancer – just days later.

The shock diagnosis which left the family devastated marked the beginning of a year of extended hospital stays and gruelling treatment, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

At the end of April, Luke was in the final stages of treatment and enduring what was believed to be his last round of immunotherapy when the Bells were given the devastating news that their little boy had relapsed, with scans showing a progression of his illness.

Friends and family embarked on various fundraisers in order to ease the financial burden associated with treatment and ensure Luke could access the required medical care.

Luke’s father, rugby player Mark Bell, said he had been blown away by the support received so far,  adding that the family were trying to prepare as much as possible for the uncertain future ahead.

This has been very difficult for him and he has hated staying in hospital and the treatments – in fact, if you even say the word treatment around him, you have to pay him a quid.

Before the relapse, he had the most energy he’s ever had and it’s been a real kick in the teeth for us all but he’s taking it in his stride – his attitude is always ‘let’s just get on with it’.

“That attitude is strengthening the rest of us, knowing that he is prepared to take this fight on himself.

“Looking at what he’s been through, it’s incredible.

If children with neuroblastoma relapse, many families are forced to go abroad for treatment. Fortunately Luke and others in the UK that has changed – the first ever transatlantic trial for the disease is now under way at the University of Southampton in the hope they can improve survival rates and be treated closer to home, and Luke is the first first patient to be signed on to the trial.

Channel 4 News went to meet Luke.  Watch the video with Luke and his Dad HERE

 

 

About LFCT

CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit Childhood Cancer support organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 11 October, 2018, in Blog, News & Events and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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