Magnus is a fun-loving little chap who likes nothing more than to play Minecraft, Pokemon and card games with his older brother and friends. He particularly likes dressing up as a Viking warrior!
But Magnus also has high-risk neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer that has less than a 10% chance of survival if the cancer returns.
The Mighty Magnus Appeal is asking for your help to raise £225,000 so Magnus can access a clinical trial in New York that will aim to reduce the chances of his neuroblastoma coming back. The treatment is not available on the NHS.
“We really hope Magnus can receive this treatment. We want to do everything we can to try and keep his cancer at bay,” say parents Kate and Sandy.
Just before Christmas 2017, Magnus went into his local hospital in excruciating pain. He had in the prior weeks complained of aching in his hip and had been checked for appendicitis, but on this occasion something much worse awaited.
A large tumour was found in his abdomen and tests confirmed that he had high-risk (stage 4) neuroblastoma. The disease had already spread to his bones and bone marrow and urgent treatment needed to start immediately.
Kate recalls: “sitting with Magnus and a radiologist whilst she undertook the ultrasound that found the tumour felt like watching a film. The reality of being told your child has a life-threatening illness is not something your brain can readily accept. It’s completely overwhelming.”
The following 18 months have seen more medical procedures and hospital stays than anyone should reasonably have to endure in a lifetime, let alone this cheeky seven-year-old. He has undergone almost endless chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a lengthy operation. It has made up his neuroblastoma frontline treatment in the UK, although unfortunately there have been complicating side-effects.
The treatment left Magnus unable to eat properly and for several months he needed to be fed straight into his blood via a tube. He now has a tube in place which allows feeding straight into the stomach and jejunum. Other chronic problems have included mobility problems, which left him needing regular use of a wheelchair, and he has had hearing aids fitted because of the damage caused by the chemotherapy.
Courage through cancer
Yet Magnus has displayed immense courage in the face of so much going on in his life and retains a lovely sense of humour. His fighting spirit has inspired the ‘Mighty Magnus’ campaign, based on his love of Vikings, which has been adopted by the local Northampton community as they have rallied round to support him.
Magnus dad says: ” I have witnessed so much stoicism and endurance from Magnus and the other children on oncology wards over the past 18 months, true Viking characteristics. He has had an unbelievably difficult time but keeps going despite it all.”
But more help is now needed – his young age at diagnosis and the fact the disease spread to two metastatic sites puts Magnus at high risk of relapse.
Magnus’ fundraising campaign
Shortly after Magnus completes his NHS treatment in May 2019, his parents want him to access the Bivalent Vaccine clinical trial at the world-renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York.
This treatment is going to cost £225,000 and aims to reduce the chances of his cancer coming back, giving Magnus potentially his best chance at living cancer-free.
How you can help
There are many ways you can help Magnus: by making a personal donation; holding a fundraising event; getting sponsored to take on a challenge; or simply by following and sharing Magnus’ story through his Facebook page, Twitter profile.
To donate by text, send “MAGNUS” followed by any whole amount up to £20 to 70085. This will cost your donation plus your standard network charge. It won’t matter if you leave a space before the number, if you include a ‘£’ sign or whether you use upper or lower case.
Download our free Magnus resources (coming soon, below) to support your fundraising, and CLICK HERE for even more resources, including fundraising ideas, templates and guidance.
If you’d like to help to support Magnus’ campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 and email@example.com.