A boy with cancer who spends 2 months in a hospital room with daddy gets everything free to go to the US

0

A cancer-stricken boy who spent nearly two months in isolation with his father in the hospital has finally gotten everything from doctors.

The family of Oliver Stephenson, five, from Ackworth, West Yorkshire, say they felt they ‘won the lottery’ as the youngster can now start with a groundbreaking £ 210,000 treatment to avoid his rare form of cancer returns.

Brave Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in January 2020, and doctors soon discovered that the disease had spread to his skull, eye sockets, and bone marrow.

The youngster underwent chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell treatment and a bone marrow transplant before receiving the incredible news that he is now in remission on Friday.

But while he was undergoing treatment, his 33-year-old father James Stephenson sat with him for seven weeks in a 15-foot hospital room in Leeds general infirmary.

Now in remission, Oliver will now be able to travel to America for a groundbreaking clinical trial vaccine called bivalent, which it is hoped will prevent the disease from returning.

The family of Oliver Stephenson, five, from Ackworth, West Yorkshire, say they felt they 'won the lottery' as the youngster can now start with a groundbreaking £ 210,000 treatment to avoid his rare form of cancer returns.  Oliver is shown with his parents James and Laura

The family of Oliver Stephenson, five, from Ackworth, West Yorkshire, say they felt they ‘won the lottery’ as the youngster can now start with a groundbreaking £ 210,000 treatment to avoid his rare form of cancer returns. Oliver is shown with his parents James and Laura

Brave Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in January 2020, and doctors soon discovered the disease had spread to his skull, eye sockets and bone marrow

Brave Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in January 2020, and doctors soon discovered the disease had spread to his skull, eye sockets and bone marrow

The youngster underwent chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell treatment and a bone marrow transplant before receiving the incredible news that he is now in remission on Friday

The youngster underwent chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell treatment and a bone marrow transplant before receiving the incredible news that he is now in remission on Friday

Brave Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in January 2020, and doctors soon discovered that the disease had spread to his skull, eye sockets, and bone marrow. The youngster underwent chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell treatment and a bone marrow transplant before receiving the incredible news that he is now in remission on Friday.

The treatment, which costs £ 210,000 and is conducted in New York, will be paid for through crowdfunding pages set up to support the schoolboy who raised a whopping £ 300,000.

Oliver’s mother, Laura, 35, said she is ‘overwhelmed’ by the news and that the money left over after paying for the vaccine will be spent on several trips between the UK and the US.

She added: ‘We are absolutely ecstatic. When I heard that Oliver cleared up completely, my stomach turned.

WHAT IS NEUROBLASTOMA?

Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that affects children and usually starts in the abdomen.

About 100 children are diagnosed in the UK each year, who are typically under the age of five.

The disease affects about 800 new children in the US every year.

In about half of cases, neuroblastoma spreads to other parts of the body, especially the liver and skin.

The cause of Neuroblastoma is unclear. There may be a link to family history.

The main symptom is usually a lump in the abdomen, which can cause swelling, discomfort, or pain.

If the disease affects the spinal cord, it can lead to numbness, weakness, and loss of movement in the lower part of the body.

Treatment depends on how advanced the cancer is and the risk of it returning after therapy.

Surgery and chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often used.

Source: Cancer Research UK

‘It was a very emotional and overwhelming moment, I feel like I was in a daze for the rest of the day.

“It’s better than winning the lottery, frankly.

“After all he’s been through, this is a huge moment, it means we can begin the next phase of the journey.”

Laura and James received the great news last week after their son finished immunotherapy and subsequent tests showed no signs of cancer.

They told Oliver and his brother Alfie, three, on Friday night after picking him up from school and sitting down for a festive dinner.

Laura said, “I asked Oliver,” Do you know why we’re celebrating? And he said he thought it was because of the Easter holidays, because he had just left school.

“I told him,” Mom and Dad went to the hospital today, we saw your doctor and she said you’re better “.

“He understands that he was sick, but he is so young that he just got the news right, although he was happy to hear that now he only has to take one medicine a day.”

She added: “We weren’t sure what the doctor would say before the meeting, but we were hoping for good news after seeing how much Oliver had improved.

‘He’s looking really good, he’s growing enormously and he’s really active again, so we suspected he was on schedule.

“It’s great to see how far Oliver has come, he’s doing so well.”

The Stephensons will travel to the United States later this year to begin bivalent treatment, which will require five trips across the pond and seven vaccines in 12 months.

If it works, treatment at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will train Oliver’s immune system to identify and destroy neuroblastoma cells lurking in his body.

It is hoped that this will prevent a relapse.

Laura said, ‘It’s a clinical trial, so we don’t know what’s going to happen.

The treatment, which costs £ 210,000 and is conducted in New York, will be paid for through crowdfunding pages set up to support the schoolboy who raised a whopping £ 300,000.  Oliver is pictured in the hospital

The treatment, which costs £ 210,000 and is conducted in New York, will be paid for through crowdfunding pages set up to support the schoolboy who raised a whopping £ 300,000.  Oliver is pictured in the hospital

The treatment, which costs £ 210,000 and is conducted in New York, will be paid for through crowdfunding pages set up to support the schoolboy who raised a whopping £ 300,000. Oliver is pictured in the hospital

Oliver is pictured after making everything clear

Oliver is pictured after making everything clear

Oliver can now travel to the US for further treatment

Oliver can now travel to the US for further treatment

Oliver’s mother, Laura, 35, said she is ‘overwhelmed’ by the news and that the money left over after paying for the vaccine will be spent on several trips between the UK and the US. Oliver is pictured

“But 60 percent of people who recover from neuroblastoma eventually relapse, so we want to do everything we can to prevent that from happening to Oliver.”

In January last year, Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer of immature nerve cells that affects only 100 children every year.

The ordeal of the Stephenson family was made worse by the pandemic, which meant that Oliver and James had to isolate together in the hospital while the youngster received chemotherapy.

In total, they spent seven weeks in April, May and June in the same 15-square-meter room in Leeds general infirmary.

James lay at his son’s bedside all the time, but Laura and Alfie were unable to visit due to restrictions and had to make do with video calls.

In January last year, Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer of immature nerve cells that affects only 100 children every year.  He is pictured in the hospital

In January last year, Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer of immature nerve cells that affects only 100 children every year.  He is pictured in the hospital

In January last year, Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer of immature nerve cells that affects only 100 children every year. He is pictured in the hospital

Crowdfunding pages were set up to help the family pay for treatment once options on the NHS were exhausted as neuroblastoma has a significant chance of returning.

The Stephensons watched in amazement as the sums raised skyrocketed day after day, eventually reaching over £ 300,000.

Laura said: “The incredible support and donations, not only from our friends and family, but from all over the world, has been overwhelming.

“We are so grateful to everyone who helped.”

She added: ‘It has been a very difficult year for us and in January Oliver’s forecast was not good at all.

“But he’s fought through everything, he’s doing fine now, he’s fit and strong and even back at school.”

The family says some of the crowdfunding money, which exceeds what Oliver needs, has already been sent to another youngster fighting cancer.

Laura said her son’s treatment will begin this year, adding, “Now we can prepare for the next step of our journey.”