A BRIDLINGTON family is racing against time to raise £130,000 to get the best treatment for their son’s cancerous tumour.
Bradley Marshall, 10, who goes to Burlington Junior School, has a rare, fast-growing tumour in the base of his spine which has survived two operations to remove it.
Now his parents, Dawn and David Marshall, of Kingsgate, hope to send Bradley to Florida for pioneering Proton Theraphy treatment – currently unavailable in the UK – which should destroy the tumour.
They have teamed up with charity Kids ‘n’ Cancer UK which has launched a campaign to raise the £130,000 needed to fund Bradley’s treatment.
The Marshalls say that they have been touched by the response from the local community.
Dawn said: “Bradley’s school has been absolutely fantastic, they’ve been so supportive.
“They’ve organised a non-uniform day to help raise some money and – continued on Page 3
we’ve heard that somebody made £10 by selling shells at the end of their drive.
“It’s the little things like that that really touch us, we’ve just been overwhelmed.”
Dawn and David first discovered Bradley had the tumour in February last year.
“It started off with small things, like Bradley being uncomfortable when he was sitting on the floor at school assembly,” said Dawn.
“Then I noticed when he was playing football he would run and skip a little so we knew something wasn’t quite right but we never expected it would be so serious.
“You just don’t think that it’s going to happen to you.”
Bradley was diagnosed with myxopapillary ependymoma and had his first operation to remove the tumour at Leeds General Infirmary in February last year.
But the Marshalls were devastated to learn that within weeks the tumour had begun to grow again.
A second operation followed in May this year, but the family is now looking to try Proton Therapy treatment in the hope of beating the cancer for good.
Dawn said: “I can’t fault all the staff we have dealt with at Leeds, everybody has been absolutely fantastic.
“I feel that so far we have had the best treatment that we could possibly have had, which is why we want Bradley to still have the best treatment – but that means going to America for Proton Therapy.”
Proton Therapy is a pioneering treatment which targets the tumour more directly than conventional radiotherap, which can damage the tissue surrounding the tumour and cause destructive side effects.
The Proton Therapy Institute in Florida is among a handful of clinics in America offering the treatment and the Marshalls now have a race against time to raise the money they need before Bradley’s tumour gets any bigger.
David, who runs three shoe-shops in Bridlington, said the support of Kids ‘n’ Cancer has been invaluable to the family and they are hopeful of getting Bradley the treatment he desperately needs.
“We didn’t expect to be in this position. We didn’t no where to go or what to do,” he said.
“Kids ‘n’ Cancer have been fantastic, providing us with so much support and information, as well as the support we’ve received from everybody at Leeds and we can’t thank all of them enough.”
Bradley appears unfazed by the situation and is most concerned about getting back to doing what he loves best – playing football for Bridlington Rangers Rhinos.
“I want to get it over and done with so that I can get back to doing what I normally do. I miss playing football,” Bradley said.
“I don’t feel nervous about going to America, I just want to get it out of the way.”
A panel was due to meet this week to decide whether the Marshalls would receive any NHS funding for the treatment in America, but the chances are very slim.
Time is crucial for Bradley as his tumour continues to grow, which is why Kids ‘n’ Cancer have already launched the fund-raising campaign.
Mike Hyman, of the charity, said: “Obviously time is an enemy for Bradley and the charity has started a fund-raising initiative within all nursery, primary and secondary schools in the East Riding.”
Various events have been taking place throughout Bridlington to raise money to help Bradley, including a fund-raising car-wash and non-uniform days and all the schools in the region have been given bags in the hope that the children will fill them with old clothes to help raise money for the appeal.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
l A special Kids ‘n’ Cancer Bradley’s Appeal account has been set up at the Lloyds TSB branch in Manor Street.
If anybody would like to donate, the account number is 16236168 and the sort code is 30-11-12.
Any money not needed by the Marshalls will be used by Kids ‘n’ Cancer to help other children suffering from the disease.
The charity is also appealing for help with picking up the bags of clothes from local schools and transporting them to a warehouse, and anybody who would like to volunteer should contact Rachel on 07872177376.