The family of a Melton teenager who has a rare form of cancer have made a desperate appeal to local businesses to help fund a trip abroad where he will receive vital medical treatment for up to two months.
We reported in December how the town had rallied behind 15-year-old Charlie Hull, who got the devastating diagnosis after returning from a family holiday.
Hundreds of pounds were raised to help Charlie and his family through an online fundraising page and a tombola at The Grapes pub while local tradesmen renovated his bedroom free of charge so he could comfortably spend time there over Christmas.
He has now had six of nine scheduled chemotherapy treatments in hospital in Nottingham and is now hopeful of having revolutionary proton beam therapy in either Germany or the United States.
Mum Sam Smith, who also has three other children, told the Melton Times: “We haven’t been given dates and a location yet but many other children with the same cancer have been and they have already told us to sort our passports.
“The issue is that the NHS funds Charlie and two carers, which is amazing, but we are a family of six and it would mean leaving three children behind who are aged one, 10 and 13.
“We are trying to raise funds to travel as a family as it is going to be between six to eight weeks for the intensive treatment in which Charlie will have treatment every single weekday for six weeks.
“We want to ask if local businesses could help us in any way by having charity boxes or letting us have sponsored bag packs or anything like that.”
Charlie, a pupil at Melton’s Long Field Academy, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, which usually hits children and young adults between 10 and 20 years of age.
He had complained of having a stitch on a family holiday and when they returned in October a series of blood tests and scans revealed he had the disease.
Charlie has felt well enough to return to school for a few days with the use of a wheelchair.
His mum says: “As much as I try and help him it’s his mates that will get him through this.
“At 15 the most important people in your life are your friends- and luckily he has a very good bunch.”
Go online at www.gofundme.com/f/charlie-hull or www.facebook.com/smahull to pledge a donation to help Charlie and his family or to help with their fundraising.
The family has asked people to post the hashtag #helpingcharliehull if they post any news about him on their social media accounts.