£168,199raised of £150,000 target by 864 supporters

Weʼre raising £150,000 to help fund Sam's treatment

London, United Kingdom
Time left
3 days to go

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This is Sam. He is four years old. He and his big sister Lily are the lights of our lives. Just before Christmas doctors found a tumour on Sam’s brain. The tumour was removed during an eight-hour operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Sam has made an amazing recovery, even after a haemorrhage that left one side of his body with little strength and movement. We were devastated to discover that the tumour contained cancerous cells and Sam now needs radiotherapy to stop the cancer spreading. Conventional radiotherapy on such a young brain that is still developing will have serious long-term side effects including life-changing cognitive damage and risk of secondary tumours.

We want to try and raise enough money for Sam to have Proton Beam Therapy, a kind of targeted radiotherapy that spares more of the healthy brain tissue so has fewer side effects and is better suited to young children. It is not available in this country. The NHS currently sends some people abroad for Proton Beam Therapy but they won’t fund treatment for Sam’s type of tumour.

Doctors at Heidelberg University hospital in Germany, a very well respected medical research centre, have agreed to treat Sam. He will be receiving Proton radiotherapy five days a week for six-eight weeks under general anaesthetic. Your donations would be used to fund the treatment itself, our travel and accommodation.

Sam’s tumour was diagnosed as a Diffuse Midline Glioma (or an astrocytoma grade 4) with a specific genetic mutation H3 K27M. We’re not going to talk about “fighting” cancer, or “battling” the disease, we just want to do the best by our gentle, affectionate son with the very limited choices we have. As his Mum and Dad we want to give him the treatment that will spare more of what makes him Sam, and give him a better chance of living a normal, happy little boy’s life for however long that life might be.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Katie and Julian, Sam’s Mum and Dad

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  • Julian Gilhespie

    Julian Gilhespie

    22 days ago

    Julian Gilhespie

    You wonderful, wonderful people! Thank you to everyone who helped us reach our target so quickly - £150,000 in three days (it must be a Just Giving record). We've had donations from family, friends, friends of friends and people we've never even met before. Your messages of support have helped us feel less alone and have shown us how loved Sam is. Thank you

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  • Julian Gilhespie

    Julian Gilhespie

    25 days ago

    Julian Gilhespie

    Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We are incredibly moved by your generosity and the speed at which everyone is giving. K and J xx

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a month ago

Julian Gilhespie started crowdfunding

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  • Sally Spurring

    Sally Spurring

    Feb 20, 2017

    With love to you all


  • Nadja Romain

    Nadja Romain

    Feb 19, 2017

    I have learnt lately about what happened to your child. I can emphasis after my own experience but I can't imagine what it is for a baby. I send you blessings.

  • Anonymous


    Feb 19, 2017


Julian Gilhespie

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About the fundraiser
Julian Gilhespie

Julian Gilhespie

London, United Kingdom

Katie Salter and Julian Gilhespie, Sam's Mum and Dad

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