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Luke Bell is an 8 year old boy from Darlington who is currently fighting Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma. Luke was first diagnosed in April 2017 after he started to display a few symptoms that were originally passed off as typical childhood ailments such as a virus, growing pains, ‘something going around school’, a touch of anaemia etc. He also looked pale, he seemed to have less energy and his appetite was poor. It was only after he started to fall asleep at school that things were taken more seriously and his parents insisted on blood tests being taken by his GP. The same day the initial tests were done, his mum took a very worrying phone call to say that Luke had to attend the local hospital that evening for more tests and by the next morning, he was taken by ambulance to the Newcastle RVI as an emergency case after a doctor at the hospital confirmed that the tests revealed something that was ‘suggestive of cancer’. It was such an awful night and one we’ll never forget.
Over the next few days, further tests were carried out at the RVI and it looked increasingly like the diagnosis would be Leukaemia. This was formally confirmed in a meeting with the oncology consultants. There was a further twist when the meeting was interrupted by a phone call to say that something new had been picked up in the tests and scans to cast doubt on the Leukaemia diagnosis. Our worst fears were realised when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma a few days later
Since then, Luke has endured countless blood and platelet transfusions, a number of gruelling rounds of treatment, including high dose chemotherapy, 8 hours of surgery to remove a tumour above his adrenal glands and a round of radiation therapy. Just before Christmas 2017, scans and tests confirmed that he was finally clear of disease. This was the best present ever! But in April 2018 a routine scan identified two new spots of disease. A new treatment plan was immediately put in place and a new course of chemotherapy commenced. Unfortunately, it had no impact at all and another two new spots of disease became apparent on a subsequent MIBG scan. At this point, the prospect of a place on a brand new international clinical trial due to begin in late summer 2018 started to became a reality and Luke was enrolled on 25th August 2018. In the intervening time, he received a further dose of intense chemotherapy, and is now at the start of the immunotherapy phase of the Trial. Despite all that Luke continues to go through, he rarely complains and shows immense courage at every stage. Just recently he was asked to give some advice to a close family relative who was about to undergo some relatively minor surgery at their local hospital. His advice was simple: stay brave and never give up. Which just about sums Luke up. He’s kind and thoughtful, brave and resilient. Oh and he’s as cheeky as ever.
Luke’s family stepped up the fundraising campaign once the relapse had been confirmed, as the next stage of treatment will more than likely take place abroad, with the current preferred option being in Barcelona. This has given the family a target of £100,000 to raise, of which over half has already been achieved!
I have decided to cycle one mile for every pound raised so if i raise £100 I will cycle 100 miles. If i raise £2500 i will cycle 2500 miles over a period of time the more i raise for luke the further i peddle so can you spare £1 for this amazing young man
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John Mcgrath started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Dec 30, 2018
Well done John. Tough times for Mark and the family. Hopefully your support and those of the wider rugby family will help ease some of the pain and help those other kids with similar conditions.
Nov 5, 2018
Go for it John
Amanda & Simon Pettitt
Oct 31, 2018
Think you re going to need strong legs John The miles are going to start adding up.Well done you
Oct 30, 2018
Wow! Such an inspiring thing to do. For a great cause.
Oct 30, 2018
Oct 30, 2018
Oct 30, 2018
Get cycling young man! Hope you raise loads for the fantastic cause.Gary and Rach x
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