We are deeply saddened to share the news that beautiful Oscar has passed away.
Oscar relapsed earlier this year and his family were fundraising with Solving Kids’ Cancer in case they needed to access treatment not available on the NHS.
His family shared on Facebook: “I am heartbroken to say that we lost our beautiful baby bear today. The world is a much sadder place. Our love for each other will live on forever.”
Our love and thoughts are with Oscar’s family.
Oscar is a very happy 3-year-old who loves being big brother to his twin brother and sister. His favourite things are Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol and popping bubbles.
But when he was only 18 months old he was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. His next 18 months were spent in intensive treatment – chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell recovery, radiotherapy and finally immunotherapy as part of a UK clinical trial. Oscar responded well but by February 2018 scans confirmed his cancer had come back. He’s currently having more chemotherapy as he waits for a place on a new trial.
Oscar’s future is uncertain – less than 1 in 10 of the 40-50% of children whose cancer comes back, will survive. If the new trial doesn’t go ahead or if, as is very likely, he needs further treatment not available through the NHS, Oscar’s parents know they will need to consider options abroad which could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Mum Lucy says: “It’s heart-breaking as a parent watching your child endure such gruelling treatments. We are so proud of him and how he tackles everything head on. We just want to give him the best chance to be able to grow up and beat this horrible disease that we have seen far too many gorgeous children lost to.”
Please donate to help Oscar fight this devastating disease, and give his family hope.
Up until the age of one Oscar was a happy healthy baby but after his birthday he started to become poorly. Around the same time, he began going to a child-minder so his mum and dad put the extra sickness bugs down to him being around other children more. However, they kept taking him to the doctors, only to leave each time feeling re-assured at being told that it was just a bug.
Over the next few months Oscar went through patches of being ill and off his food, but then would seem to recover again. He became increasingly clingy, wanting to be carried more and his child-minder mentioned that he seemed reluctant to walk. But his younger twin brother and sister (George and Emily) had just been born, early at 32 weeks, and needed a lot of attention.
Oscar’s mum, Lucy, says:
“We assumed that Oscar’s change in behaviour was regression or a reaction to having the babies in the house. Looking back there were so many warning signs, including night sweats which unfortunately we weren’t aware could be a sign of childhood cancer. Oscar would wake each morning with his hair drenched despite the fan being on. It was only in the final weeks leading to diagnosis that his tummy began to look distended.”
His parents returned to the doctors in July 2016, the GP recognised something was wrong and immediately referred Oscar to Hinchingbrooke Hospital where an ultrasound was performed that afternoon. A large tumour was found in his abdomen, followed by, a secondary tumour in his neck later.
“I remember not being concerned at all about the scan until he was lying on the bed and I immediately thought ‘what if they find something serious?’ Returning to the ward I knew something was wrong when the doctor kept insisting I eat my tea and then we would talk. I knew this meant that whatever news she was going to deliver would mean I wouldn’t want to eat once I knew. I still wasn’t prepared for the news cancer.”
Oscar was transferred by ambulance to Addenbrookes Hospital that evening and tests began the next day. After a couple of weeks, doctors confirmed that he had stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma.
“I was basically in a state of grief for the first few days, convinced that we would lose Oscar and crying whenever anyone came near him or touched him.”
Oscar’s treatment began immediately: a very intensive 18 month plan of chemotherapy, 12 hour surgery, stem cell recovery, radiotherapy and finally immunotherapy. Oscar coped very well with treatment taking everything in his stride, and his parents were relieved to see their happy child finally returning.
But despite everyone being hopeful as Oscar was so well at the end of treatment, his routine scans in January 2018 showed a change in his disease and the doctors suspected a relapse. At the same time, Oscar broke his femur – his bones were probably weakened by his treatment – and his parents had to wait until his cast came off to perform a biopsy. This was done on the 26 February and confirmed what Oscar’s parents had feared, that the tumour was still active.
Oscar started treatment on the Beacon clinical trial at Manchester Children’s Hospital but unfortunately, by the end of April his parents found out that he was not responding to the treatment.
Oscar’s parents are now looking to enlist him on a CART cell trial at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and have been advised that he is next on the list. In the meantime, Oscar is receiving chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide and topotecan) in an attempt to stabilise the disease.
Oscar’s fundraising campaign
As Oscar’s family know, high-risk neuroblastoma is an aggressive and complex cancer to treat. There is currently no standard NHS protocol for treating relapsed neuroblastoma – the only options come in the form of old off-the-shelf agents or clinical trials. Oscar’s family are fundraising in case they need to access treatment options or clinical trials that are not available through the NHS. This could require hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Please help give Oscar the best chance of beating this devastating disease and his parents hope.
How you can help
There are many ways you can help Oscar: by making a personal donation; holding a fundraising event; getting sponsored to take on a challenge; or simply following and sharing Oscar’s story through his Facebook page.
Download our free Oscar resources (below) to support your fundraising, and CLICK HERE for even more resources, including fundraising ideas, templates and guidance.