Parents of three-year-old boy with cancer fundraising for USA vaccine trial
The family of a three-year-old boy diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer are hoping to raise £200,000 to fly to America for a vaccine trial which could prevent the disease from returning.
The parents of Archie Wilks, from Saffron Waldon, received the devastating news in January that their son has neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive type of cancer affecting around 100 children each year in the UK, just weeks after their boy became unwell and was unable to stand.
They were told he had two tumours around his kidney and spine and that the disease had also spread to his bones and bone marrow.
But they say Archie is a "fighter", who survived twin-twin transfusion syndrome in the womb.
The condition affects identical twins who share a placenta, creating an imbalanced blood flow from one twin to the other.
His mother had surgery during her 17th week of pregnancy to allow Archie and his identical twin brother Henry to feed and grow.
Parents Harriet, 29, and Simon, 31, Wilks said they have received 'fantastic' treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital but that there is a chance the aggressive cancer could come back even if his treatment is a success.
Once Archie has completed his treatment, his parents hope to take him to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York to take part in a vaccine trial.
The treatment looks to teach immune cells to recognise and destroy existing cancer cells and any that may subsequently develop once the child is in remission.
A fundraising campaign has been set up to pay for his vaccine treatment, with the total already reaching more than £75,000.
Mr Wilks said: "This treatment will look to reduce the chance of that happening and allow us all to know we have done everything possible to give Archie the best chance at life.
"The fundraising has completely blown us away. We are so overwhelmed by the support from everyone.
"We still have a long way to go to reach Archie's target and we can't thank everyone enough that is helping to give Archie and our family the belief that he will get through this and reach his target along the way," he said.
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