Bedfordshire boy with rare brain tumour flies to Germany for experimental treatment thanks to incredible community support
Fundraising for George Fox from Barton-le-Clay has now reached £350,000
A 12-year-old with a rare brain tumour flew out to Germany on Sunday for the first round of pioneering treatment which could help him live longer.
The trip has been made possible thanks to the incredible support from the Bedfordshire community for George Fox, of Barton-le-Clay, who is living with Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour which usually only occurs in adults.
Limited treatment options in the UK mean that George’s only hope is to travel to Germany for experimental treatment not available on the NHS.
Parents Louise, 47, and Matt, 51, say they have been “overwhelmed” by support from the local community who have been on a fundraising mission, taking part in everything from sky dives, fun runs and endurance challenges to school bake sales. Most recently, at the weekend, a fundraising ball brought in an impressive £67,000, bringing the total so far to over £350,000.
George first visited the doctors in April 2021 after complaining for weeks of persistent headaches, but the family were told there was nothing to worry about.
Louise explained: “We kept taking him to the doctors and they kept saying don’t worry it’s only migraines. But then George started feeling sick. We took him back to the hospital where they eventually booked us in for an MRI scan because I wouldn’t let it drop.”
That’s when the doctors noticed something which they thought might be cancer.
“Our world fell apart in that moment,” said Louise.
On May 19, the family received the devastating news that George had an aggressive type of brain tumour called a Glioblastoma and he was given just 12 to 15 months to live.
He underwent surgery, which initially seemed to be a success, removing 99 per cent of the tumour. But within five weeks it had grown back.
“Within those five weeks George started complaining of headaches again. The doctors told us not to worry, that it would just be inflammation from the surgery. We still didn’t know at this point quite what we were dealing with,” said Louise.
“When he went in again for an MRI, it showed the tumour had grown back to almost the same size as before the surgery.
“The consultant said he’d only ever known one in all his time to grow back as quickly and aggressively, and that George may actually have as little as six months left.”
But pioneering treatment in Germany and America could help George to enjoy more precious time with his family, and his local community are doing everything they can to raise at least £500,000 needed to pay for it.
“We have been completely overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from our community,” said Matt. “Ever since George was diagnosed everyone, from friends and family to teachers and children at George’s school, have been fundraising tirelessly.”
Speaking of the trip to Germany, Louise added: “We are so grateful to everyone who has made this happen. But we know we’ve got a long road ahead – this round of treatment is just the start. We want to raise as much as we can to give George a fighting chance, and to keep enjoying each and every moment we have with him for as long as we possibly can.”
Donate to George’s GoFundMe page here