BRIDLINGTON schoolboy Bradley Marshall has arrived in America for pioneering treatment to his cancerous tumour.
The town’s residents rallied round the Marshall family last month when the Free Press reported how Bradley desperately needed the new proton therapy as the best chance to destroy a cancerous tumour on his spine.
The family eventually received NHS funding to send the 10-year-old to Florida to receive the treatment.
Although their delight was short-lived, as Bradley sufferered a setback when a new scan revealed his tumour had grown again.
However, after taking advice from experts, they decided it was still the best option to get Bradley to America as soon as possible.
The Marshalls have now arrived in Florida, where Bradley will shortly begin treatment at the Proton Therapy Institute.
The Free Press has been in touch with Bradley’s mother Dawn in America, who said the family was settling in and that Bradley was “coping well and is taking everything in his stride”.
The proton treatment has an 87% success rate and works more effectively that conventional radiotherapy as it targets the cancerous cells more directly, causing minimal damage to the surrounding tissue.
It is expected that Bradley will remain in America with his family for at least six weeks, and possibly nine.
Fund-raising events have been taking place across Bridlington to help the Kids ‘n’ Cancer charity which supported the Marshalls, and money raised in Bradley’s name will go towards helping other children suffering from the disease.
l As a result of the local interest among those who wish Bradley well, Bradley’s mum Dawn is keeping in touch with the Free Press while they are in America, and is sending us updates on how things are going. Here are extracts from some of the messages in Dawn’s Diary:
“We left Manchester airport on Sunday at 11.15am arriving in Philadelphia at 2pm local time (7pm UK) where the temperature was 91 degrees.
“After a short break we took the internal 2.25 hour flight to Jacksonville, during which Bradley was able to visit the cockpit and sit next to the captain! We arrived at 6pm, 11pm UK time and after a very long day went to sleep in a hotel near the airport.”
“Bradley spent some time in the hotel pool as we don’t think he will be allowed in the pool once his treatment starts.
“In the afternoon we met the director of development at the Proton Centre and then had our first visit to the Proton Centre.
“It is a colossal place, totally overwhelming, the power, the technology is almost from beyond this world. We have an 8am appointment tomorrow.”
“Bradley and Adele visit a play room whist we fill in forms. We also met Amy who is our personal nurse and our first point of contact if we have any problems. We then met the professor in charge of radiation oncology who specialises in paediatric cancers. He is in charge of Bradley’s Proton therapy care plan.
He explained Bradley’s treatment would last for between 30 and 33 days, Monday to Friday.
After an examination Bradley had a CT scan and basic MRI. A body mould is to be made for him to lie in during Proton treatment. He didn’t like having a series of small tattoos on his body to ensure he could be lined up in exactly the same position each day which he found painful, but that was soon forgotten with the offer of lunch at McDonald’s.
“We met other patients, including a family from the UK whose little girl was five weeks into her treatment. We have now found an apartment to rent down at the beach and went to bed happy knowing we could move in the next day and finally start to settle down.”