When Joshua was born on 29th May 2008, we held him in our arms and our world was complete. He was the most beautiful baby we had ever seen, our first child, with the bluest eyes and a smile to make your heart turn over.
At Christmas, when Joshua wasn’t even seven months old, it was discovered that Joshua had a tumour. It was neuroblastoma – a rare and often fatal childhood cancer. Further tests showed that it had spread around his little body and Joshua’s doctors told us it was stage 4, high risk – the very worst case scenario.
Joshua started his fight for life at the end of January this year and has endured treatments which no baby should ever have to go through. He has tolerated 70 days of chemotherapy, major surgery, bone marrow and stem cell harvest and still has high dose chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and maintenance therapy to come. This is not including the countless scans, tests, biopsies, general anaesthetics and transfusions that Joshua has suffered. The list is too long, but throughout all this our brave little boy has managed to smile, play, and even laugh.
In spite of the best efforts of Joshua’s team at Great Ormond Street Hospital, his chances of survival are heartbreakingly slim. The likelihood of relapse is very high, possibly as high as 80%, and to date there is no cure in the UK for a relapse. America offers hope for relapsed children but with every relapse, survival is slashed and treatment comes at a huge cost.
His best chance of beating this wicked disease forever, and avoiding a relapse, lies with an antibody treatment. Currently, this treatment is only available in the USA, but with a huge price tag – upwards of $500,000. It is for this reason we are urgently launching this appeal for Joshua. We are just ordinary parents and, like you, we never thought this could happen to us.
Every penny you donate will go solely for life saving treatment for Joshua and give us the hope that we so desperately need.
Thank you seems like such an understatement, but we truly thank everyone for their support and generosity. You may well have saved Joshua’s life.