A BRIDLINGTON family is celebrating after being granted funds to send their son to America for specialist cancer treatment.
Bradley Marshall, 10, suffers from a rare fast-growing cancerous tumour at the base of his spine which two operations have failed to completely remove.
Last week his parents Dawn and David Marshall, of Queensgate, joined forces with the Kids ‘n’ Cancer charity to raise the £130,000 needed to send Bradley to the Proton Therapy Institute in Florida for pioneering treatment.
However, despite believing that Bradley only had a 10% chance of being granted the money by the NHS, they were delighted to hear that the health panel has now agreed to fund the cost of Bradley’s treatment on the grounds of the tumour’s ‘exceptional behaviour’.
Dawn said: “For us the decision was unexpected as they had previously told us that we only had a 10% chance of approval.
“This was swiftly followed by total relief – a great burden has been lifted off our shoulders.
“We hope that our luck has now changed and we can move forward with optimism.
“When Bradley was told the news he punched the air and said ‘Yes!’.”
The family wished to thank everybody who has already fund-raised for Bradley’s treatment – and said that any money raised will go to the Kids ‘n’ Cancer charity to help other children suffering from the disease.
David said “It’s amazing how the people of the area have rallied round.
“We will never forget the kindness and generosity shown by the general public.
“You hear of so many bad things in the world, but this just puts faith back in the human race.
“We thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts for helping us, including Kids ‘n’ Cancer, who made us believe it was possible to get Bradley this treatment.
“Any monies raised will now be given to Kids ‘n’ Cancer to continue their excellent work and help the next child whose family find themselves in this soul-destroying situation.”
Dawn said that the main reason for the health authority agreeing to fund Bradley’s treatment was due to the unusual nature of his tumour.
“It has never behaved as it was expected to,” she said.
“It has always grown particularly fast and is in such an unusual place that they obviously decided it was important for Bradley to get this treatment as soon as possible.
“We were worried that he wouldn’t get it because of his age, but is seems that because of the tumour’s unusual behaviour, we’ve unexpectedly been given the funding.”
Now the family have an anxious wait before they can pack their bags for Florida as Bradley needs another MRI scan to make sure that the tumour has not grown any bigger.
If it has expanded, he may need another operation in England before he can go to the clinic in America.
However, if the MRI scan shows no change in the tumour, Bradley can expect to be heading to the States within three weeks of the scan.
Once there he will receive the ground-breaking Proton Therapy treatment which has an 87% success rate.
It works by targeting the cancer more directly than conventional radiotherapy which can damage the surrounding tissue and cause painful side effects.
There are a handful of clinics in America offering the treatment which is not available in the UK.
The Kids ‘n’ Cancer campaign bank account remains open at the Lloyds TSB branch on Manor Street and anybody who would like to help the charity to support other children like Bradley can donate over the counter.
l A fund-raising barbecue and duck race is being held in the Boynton Hall field, Boynton on Friday, July 15.
All are invited to the event which starts at 7.30pm, organised by the Bridlington Young Farmers.