THE dad of brave Harry Banks has spoken of his pride after his son finished gruelling cancer treatment.
Harry, who turns 12 today, has returned home from Spain after completing the therapy which is only available in Barcelona.
Harry Banks’s dad, Russell, has spoken of his pride after his son finished gruelling cancer treatment[/caption]
His treatment for the rare condition Central Nervous System Neuroblastoma, was part-paid for by big-hearted Sun on Sunday readers.
Now his dad Russell, 62, who will celebrate both Harry’s birthday and Father’s Day when he sees him, has described battling Harry as “our hero”.
Russell said: “We have been very worried about Harry as his treatment was in Spain during the worst months of coronavirus.
“He’s shown such fight. He’s proved himself to be the model patient and barely complained with all the tubes and invasive procedures. He really has been a hero.
What is neuroblastoma?
Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that most commonly afflicts babies and young children.
The disease develops from special nerve cells, known as neuroblasts, which get left behind from the child’s development in the womb.
It mostly begins in the sufferer’s adrenal glands located above the kidneys but can occur in the nerve tissue that runs along the spinal cord in the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis.
The vicious illness can then spread to other organs like the bone, bone marrow, lymph nodes and skin.
Neuroblastoma afflicts around 100 children a year in the UK but the cause of the disease is still not known.
Its symptoms can include:
- a swollen painful tummy, sometimes in association with constipation and difficulty passing urine
- breathlessness and difficulty swallowing
- a lump in the neck
- blueish lumps in the skin and bruising, particularly around the eyes
- weakness in the legs and an unsteady walk, with numbness in the lower body, constipation and difficulty passing urine
- fatigue, loss of energy, pale skin, loss of appetite and weight loss
- bone pain, a limp and general irritability
- jerky eye and muscle movements
Bradley Lowery developed a developed a tumour so large it was putting pressure on some of his major organs and arteries.
It eventually spread through his chest, lungs, lymph nodes, bone and bone marrow but, after major surgery and high doses of chemotherapy, he managed to pull through and went into remission.
But sadly the cancer returned in July 2016, and in December 2016, his family were told it was terminal.
He still has a long way to go and is still having chemotherapy but it’s so good that he is home until at least December when he will hopefully going to New York for a vaccine to help his body continue the fight against Neuroblastoma”.
Russell told how Harry was initially unable to get back to Spain for his last round of treatment in April due to the lockdown, but he was saved by a generous donor offering to fly him in on a private jet.
Harry’s appeal has now raised more than £850,000.
His treatment sees drug Omburtamab administered through his brain to the nervous system.
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Hundreds of schools, choirs, sports and walking clubs have held quiz nights and other cash-raising events to reach the huge total.
While in the UK, Harry has even found time to give back to those who have helped him and in December donated a mini Tesla car he was given to kids at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Russell said: “Harry will spend his birthday at home with his family as he’s shielding but it’s wonderful to have him back in the UK.”
Harry’s appeal has now raised more than £850,000[/caption]
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