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Jamie Inglis’s new cancer battle
BRAVE York youngster Jamie Inglis has suffered a devastating cancer relapse, leaving his family with another huge fundraising challenge to pay for vital treatment.
The six-year-old from Kelfield has undergone new surgery to have a tumour that caused paralysis removed from his spine, and is now having to learn to walk again.
He had defied the odds to beat the childhood cancer neuroblastoma three years ago, after his parents, Vicky and John and many friends raised £350,000 for pioneering treatment in the United States, but it was found to have returned after Jamie, a joint winner of a Press Community Pride Award in 2010, complained of acute back pain.
Doctors operated successfully, but the family now need to raise as much as £250,000 to pay for relapse treatment with experts in Germany. The treatment is not available in this country.
Dad John Inglis, a Staff Sergeant in the Royal Army Medical Corps, said: “Discovering that Jamie had relapsed was devastating.
“It happened so quickly. One minute, Jamie was running up the stairs, the next he was paralysed and in hospital having emergency surgery.”
He said he and Vicky took Jamie to the doctor’s on a Monday morning and by the afternoon he could not walk.
They took him by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, where an MRI scan revealed a 2.5 centimetre tumour pressing on his spinal column.
“He lost the feeling from the waist down and could not walk for three or four days. It was almost like going through the original process again. His walking is improving now with physio but a month ago he was running around playing and now he is learning to walk again like a coma victim, and needs support. He is getting stronger though.
“Jamie will be seven in August. He is a brave, happy boy who loves school and his little sister, Poppy. He deserves the best chance of a full and long life.”
He said the support last time had been “amazing”, and said: “Please help us to give him that chance and the hope he can beat this again.”
Jamie was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in April 2009, when he was four.
He underwent treatment in Germany and the United States, including several weeks in isolation having intense, high-dose, chemotherapy.
Mr Inglis, 40, said: “No relapse is good, and it reduces the chance of survival, but this could have been worse.
“As far as we can see, he has a local relapse, just in one place.”
The original treatment was in Germany because Mr Inglis, a soldier, was serving there at the time, but the new treatment is planned there because it is not available in the UK.
Mr Inglis said the NHS would provide some chemotherapy, but he said the family was optimistic about an experimental relapse treatment in Germany, a Haploidentical Stem Cell transplant, which tries to provide stem cell therapy using a parent donor to build the natural immunity.
He and Mrs Inglis now plan to team up with other families to lobby for better care provision in this country.
Donations to Jamie’s appeal can be made at http://www.justgiving.com/jamiesappeal or by texting ‘JAMY99’ followed by your amount to 70070, eg ‘JAMY99 £10’.