A DESPERATE mum is hoping a huge fund-raising push will help cure her son of cancer.
Charlie Gibson-Woolley, five, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, aged three, before he developed Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of children’s cancer two years later.
Tragically, the condition offers just a 30 per cent chance of survival.
That could be boosted if his family can pull together £275,000 to send Charlie to America where he could have potentially lifesaving treatment.
But despite their attempts to raise the vital cash, the brave youngster is still nowhere near his target and his mum Sharon, of Teal Lane, St Annes, is desperate boost funds.
She told The Gazette: “His appeal is flagging and we have so far to go.
“We haven’t even hit £10,000 yet and we need £275,000.
“Charlie has now finished his chemotherapy and will be reassessed to ensure the primary tumour has shrunk and the disease in his leg and ribs has lessened or preferably vanished.
“If so, that makes him a candidate for surgery which would be followed by another round of high dose chemotherapy, stem cell harvest and then radiotherapy before he would have to fly out to America for immunotherapy treatment.”
While the UK presently offers only the first type of treatment, the US provides a second stage to hunt down any cancer cells which might have previously been missed.
This immunotherapy antibody treatment is not yet registered in the UK, so families have to raise up to £275,000 to go abroad if they wish to proceed.
Sharon added: “After treatment, the UK survival rate is 46 per cent over a two-year period but the US survival rate is 66 per cent over two years for all the children who go for immunotherapy.
“It’s a no-brainer to me.”
Immunotherapy treatment would help parts of Charlie’s immune system fight the cancer, stimulating the body to attack cancer cells as well as giving him man-made immune system proteins.
His mum said: “Charlie has spent the last three months in hospital – bar five blissful days at home.
“Where other children on the treatment have been allowed home, he has had to stay in hospital as his blood counts haven’t been high enough to let him out.”
Charlie has spent the last few months at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital during treatment where he receives regular blood platelet supplies.
In an effort to raise the massive sum, Sharon and a group of friends have organised two fund-raising events.
The first event is Charlie’s Garden Party at Lytham Hall on Saturday between 12pm and 6pm and the second is Charlie’s Fun Time Factory at Park View 4 U playing fields in Lytham the following Saturday.
More information is available at www.travelswithcharlie.org