Updated 07 February 2014:
Sam is currently taking part in pioneering treatment for neuroblastoma in the United States.
Sam had been doing really well, then disaster struck... Sam had an accident!! He took a tumble on the final night of his first round of treatment. Sadly, he bumped his head and broke his arm. This meant that he had to have various X-rays and scans and underwent surgery to pin and set his arm.
The fantastic fundraising that went on to get Sam to Philadelphia has been a national news story and we can’t thank everyone enough. Unfortunately, the American healthcare system is very expensive and the original fundraising for Sam couldn’t have taken these types of accidents into account. The additional medical costs have reached £30,000 and Sam now needs help from the amazing people who gave him the chance to undergo treatment in America.
You can make a donation by texting SAMS67 and your amount (£1 - £10) to 70070 or by contacting the charity on 020 7284 0800.
Alternatively, to hold a fundraising, please contact the fundraising team at 020 7284 0800 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam’s parents Christine and Carl really do appreciate all the support you give.
On the 4th January 2013 Christine and Carl Shaw’s beautiful little boy Sam was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma, a highly aggressive form of childhood cancer. Just 5 days later, Sam’s parents received the devastating news that their son’s cancer was classed as stage 4, meaning it had spread from the main tumour to Sam’s bones and bone marrow.
The long term survival rate for children with high risk neuroblastoma remains at less than 40%, which is around half the average survival rate for childhood cancers. To give Sam the best chance of beating neuroblastoma for good, his oncologist at Manchester Children’s Hospital has recommended that Sam receives immunotherapy treatment. The most successful treatment uses the antibody ch14-18, and cytokines IL-2 and GM-CSF, trialled in America and proven by the Children’s Oncology Group to increase children’s chance of survival by 20%. This Immunotherapy treatment will help stimulate Sam’s immune system so that his own body should be able to recognise and attack the neuroblastoma if it was to return. This is the main worry with this deadly disease, where the relapse rates are high.
The treatment we hope Sam will receive in the United States is not available in the same format in the UK, where anti-GD2 and IL2, or just anti-GD2 alone, are given as part of a randomised trial. The proposed treatment and associated costs of over £250,000 will not be funded by the NHS which is why Sam desperately needs your help.
Sam’s mother Christine said, “As a parent all you want is to protect your child and see them grow up healthy and happy…Sam’s diagnosis has left us feeling completely helpless in the face of this terrible disease that has taken over our little boy’s body. He faces months of gruelling treatment including 80 days of intense chemotherapy, followed by surgery, further high dose chemotherapy, stem cell rescue, and radiotherapy and then, we hope immunotherapy in America.”
“Since he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma Sam has gone through so much; a procedure to have a central line inserted into his main artery to allow chemotherapy to be administered, countless X-rays, ultrasounds, gamma scans, echo cardiograms, ECG’s, MIBG scan, CT scans, biopsies, daily injections, the insertion of a nasal gastric feeding tube as well regular examinations, blood pressure checks, thumb pricks and more. But at every stage he has been amazingly courageous – the doctors and nurses can’t believe how brave he is. He hardly ever cries, he takes his medicines on his own with no fuss and he is the best ‘sleeping lion’ when it comes to CT scans. He is just our amazing hero.”
In the first few weeks following his diagnosis little Sam was very poorly. His parents could only watch and witness how the challenging treatment knocked the stuffing out of him. Christine said, “Sam lost weight rapidly before our very eyes and we felt our little boy slipping away, but then he showed us what a fighter he is! Sam has started to put weight back on, and we feel that our happy, cheeky, energetic little boy, so full of character, has returned to us.
We have seen how very fragile and then how resilient and robust Sam is. He has had his 40 day review and the results are encouraging. His tumour is responding to chemotherapy and the tests on the bone marrow aspirate show it to be clear of disease. This does not mean the cancer has gone from his bones, but is a very positive indicator that the treatment is working. We now wait for the end of intensive chemotherapy results at 80 days and pray for more positive news!
Heartfelt thanks Christine & Carl Shaw.
To read more about Sam visit our website: http://www.SolvingKidsCancer.org.uk/journey/sams-journey/
To follow his story visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/samshawappeal
Journey Terms and Conditions
All donations are paid into Solving Kids' Cancer's general funds to further its general charitable purposes. The funds raised by this Journey are not restricted for the child's use. However, the trustees of Solving Kids' Cancer have agreed to designate funds raised by this Appeal to the child and their family to pay for treatment costs and all other associated costs including travel and accommodation.” If the child no longer needs the funds, or if the trustees decide, at their absolute discretion, that the funds should be used for a different purpose, they may redesignate all or part of the funds for Solving Kids' Cancer's general charitable purposes. We are very grateful for your charitable donation.
For further information about Solving Kids' Cancer and how we spend donations, please see our FAQs.
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