Family of Norfolk boy with spinal cord tumour need to raise £70,000 for overseas treatment
The family of a seven-year-old boy with a spinal cord tumour need to raise £70,000 for specialist Proton therapy treatment overseas, as it's not available on the NHS.
Harry Addy had an operation to remove the tumour a few years ago and now has leptomeningeal disease in the centre of his brain.
Doctors have suggested that Harry has radiotherapy treatment in the UK to stabilise the growth of the tumour.
But his parents Jamie and Melanie Addy feel he’s too young for radiotherapy and want him to undergo the less invasive treatment in Essen, Germany.
Mr Addy, 34, a self-employed carpenter, from Rivermead, Stalham, said: “Things have not gone very well for Harry since the operation. He’s had to learn to walk again, made countless hospital trips, had MRI scans, physiotherapy and an 18-month course of chemotherapy to stop the tumour from growing. But it’s still growing and he now has a disease in his brain.”
A proton therapy panel said it could not fund the life-saving treatment abroad, because they believed it would not be any different to the photon radiotherapy the NHS has used in the UK for years, but another panel will discuss it again in 20 days’ time.
Mr Addy added: “We don’t want Harry to have radiotherapy. He’s only seven and the long-time side effects could be devastating for him. Proton therapy is a better option for younger children as it is more precise in targeting the area of Harry’s spine and brain that are affected.
“The poor little boy is just seven and it seems the whole world has dropped on him.
“If it goes well, then Harry would need MRI scans every six months. He’d always have the tumour and the disease in the brain. It’s about containing it rather than curing it. We cannot guarantee it will work but we think it’s the best option.”
Mrs Addy said Harry was “always smiling”, but added the never-ending ordeal was “overwhelming”.
Various fundraising events are being held to support the family, which also comprises Daisy, 10, Tilly, five, and Hattie, one.