Solving Kids’ Cancer UK

The Oscar Knox Fund

The Oscar Knox Fund has been set up in memory of beautiful Oscar by his mum and dad, Leona and Stephen, to drive forward research to improve treatments and survival rates for children.
by 2714 supporters
RCN 1135601

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Oscar’s story

Oscar was a kind, funny, sweet and charismatic little boy. He loved Scooby-Doo, Tree Fu Tom and playing with little sister Izzie. They both loved Peppa Pig, and one of their favourite games was chasing each other around the house, squealing with laughter at their own little version of hide and seek.

Oscar was only setting out at the very beginning of his life when it was cruelly stolen from him by neuroblastoma. Shortly after Oscar started playgroup, he became tired, withdrawn and just not himself. After taking him to A&E the doctors suspected he had leukaemia. Six weeks later, following a period of severe pain for Oscar and test after test, each of which was inconclusive, Stephen and Leona received the devastating news that cancerous cells had been found in Oscar’s bone marrow. Days later, on 30th November, Oscar was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, and it had spread right throughout his little body.

Oscar immediately enrolled on a clinical trial which had great success and cleared most of the disease. He needed to be taken off the trial though to receive further specialist treatment in London, which meant that he was no longer eligible to receive immunotherapy – a vital part of the clinical trial treatment. At the time, there were no treatment options in the UK which would have given Oscar access to the immunotherapy, so his family began fundraising for immunotherapy at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Sadly though, doctors in America discovered a condition that prevented him from accessing it.

Oscar’s long battle with neuroblastoma ended on 8th May 2014.

“Oscar didn’t die because he had cancer; he died because we ran out of options to treat it. By investing in research, we can help more children survive and go on to live happy, healthy lives; and with your help that is what we will do." Oscar's mum, Leona

Oscar's legacy

Losing their first-born and much-loved son to neuroblastoma, Leona and Stephen are passionate about funding research to improve treatments and survival rates for other children fighting the disease. All money raised by the Oscar Knox Fund is ring-fenced by Solving Kids’ Cancer UK for this purpose.

Each year since 2016, around the time of Oscar's birthday, Stephen and Leona put on the truly amazing Oscar Knox Cup, which always receives incredible community support. In April 2023, they had 38 runners make up #TeamOscar in the Belfast City Marathon.

Through these incredible fundraising efforts (and more!), the Oscar Knox Fund has partnered with Solving Kids' Cancer UK on three pioneering projects that hope to improve the future for children with neuroblastoma, particularly those with disease that is more difficult to treat.

The BORNEO project is aiming to gather important data on how to identify that a child has a poor outlook right at diagnosis. Eventually this may help to avoid unnecessary harsh treatments that won’t work, and instead enable children to be treated in a more personalised way.

The Oscar Knox Fund has also partnered on our two most recent projects that were funded through our 2019 grant call- Solving Indolent Neuroblastoma, and Optimizing Immunotherapy for Refractory Neuroblastoma. Both of these projects focus exclusively on refractory neuroblastoma, where disease is highly resistant to treatment. Through the combined outcomes of these projects, we hope to be able to identify this type of disease more easily at diagnosis and be able to treat it more effectively when it occurs.

Oscar's mum, Leona, is also Solving Kids' Cancer UK's Head of Research, and works tirelessly in her role to drive change for children and families. Both Leona and Stephen are an inspiration to Solving Kids' Cancer UK.

About the charity

Donations are paid into Solving Kids' Cancer’s general funds for our charitable activities. We help families affected by neuroblastoma through the provision of support and information; as well as investing in research and advocating for access to better treatment

Donation summary

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+ £10,681.97 Gift Aid
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