The parents of a schoolboy who had almost 5,000 people queue to become a stem cell donor for him are appealing for funds after learning his cancer has returned.
Olivia Saxelby and Jamie Lee were left devastated after discovering their five-year-old son Oscar Saxelby-Lee’s leukaemia had returned despite him undergoing a bone marrow transplant.
Now they say their last hope is to raise £500,000 to pay for treatment they hope will save his life, which is currently not available on the NHS.
Olivia, 23, from St John’s, Worcester, has made a direct appeal to the public for help, saying simply: “We need you.”
She said: “We received the devastating news Oscar’s chances of a cure are very slim since he has recently relapsed post his stem cell transplant.
“With Oscar remaining unbelievably strong and with much fight left in him, we just have to try everything and anything to save him.
“Obviously relapsing with any disease minimises your options but because Oscar’s aggressive disease is back only three months post bone marrow transplant he is at even higher risk.
“T-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a very tough disease to tackle but there are cases where a second transplant and a new trial called CAR-T have worked.
“The NHS sadly will not fund the CAR-T trial in Singapore and nor will they fund a second transplant unless he is post 12 months of the first.
“This is why we need you, we need everyone’s support and kindness to get him through to the next stage of treatment.
“We really are on a tight schedule, a schedule no child should be on. Please help us reach our target.”
Olivia added that, despite the illness that has kept him in hospital for nearly ten months, Oscar remains a real fighter.
She said: “Oscar is a true smiler. Never is there a day he doesn’t show his little dimples. No matter how hard his battle has become he always shines the light for you all, a cheeky friendly little boy with so much love to give.”
Olivia and Jamie are being supported by the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust and any money not used to help Oscar with his treatment will be donated to the charity.
Jennifer Kelly, of the charity, said: “The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust is honoured to be able to help support Oscar and his family in this small way.
“Oscar’s fund will be kept separate to our general charity fund so the remainder of our work will be continuing in the same way.
“Oscar, Olivia and Jamie are the most amazing family and I truly hope we can get behind them to get Oscar the treatment he so desperately needs.”
Oscar’s parents first appealed for help to find Oscar a bone marrow donor after he was diagnosed with leukaemia last December.
In March, nearly 5,000 people turned up at his school, Pitmaston Primary, to sign up to the stem cell donor register to help find his match.
He subsequently underwent the transplant in June, along with gruelling chemotherapy and full body radiotherapy.
Text 5OSCAR 5 to 70085 to donate £5. This costs £5 plus the cost of a standard rate message. Or text 5OSCAR 10 to 70085 to donate £10. This costs £10 plus a std rate msg. Or text 5OSCAR 20 to 70085 to donate £20.