The family of a six-year-old boy with cancer are desperately trying to raise £500,000 so he can fly abroad for treatment.
Denny Nassy, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) for the second time in January 2018, urgently needs pioneering CAR T-cell treatment that is not available on the NHS.
The procedure involves a patient’s T-cells being changed in a laboratory so they will bind to cancer cells and kill them.
Denny’s aunt Monique Laurens, from Hastings and Bexhill, has said he may not live to see Christmas if he doesn’t get the treatment soon.
The schoolboy’s sister Marley, three, was also tragically told she had the same rare condition when her brother relapsed but she has responded well to chemotherapy.
Denny’s health deteriorated in September when he had just started school and doctors confirmed chemotherapy would not fully cure him and offered palliative care.
The family now has a month to raise funds while he undergoes an intense bout of chemotherapy in order to get him healthy enough to travel abroad.
You can donate to the gofundme appeal here.
Ms Laurens told Yahoo.co.uk: “It was tough having to explain to him his cancer had returned after we let him ring the bell at the hospital when he was in remission.”
She added: “He has to go through a month of intense treatment to get him fit for CAR T and when he is the doctors will be happy to refer him.”
Ms Laurens described Denny, who has four siblings, as a loving and soft child who loved to go to Butlins and watch the Avengers.
She said: “He loves his two older brothers and two younger sisters.”
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His aunt said his younger sister Marley was now in good health but the cancer had nearly killed her.
Ms Laurens added: “They didn’t think she’d walk again but she was up and running in three weeks.”
She said everyone fell in love with Marley once they met her due to her personality and she loved to sing and dance and was “born to be on the stage”.
“She has incredible empathy. Her empathy comes from being tortured by chemotherapy,” Ms Laurens said.
Monique’s sister Michele Laurens, who started the gofundme page, described how Denny and Marley, who are under the care of their grandparents, were treated together.
She added: “Anyone who has watched a child go through cancer knows that getting a child into remission is a terrifying experience for a child.
“We were then given the devastating news Denny’s cancer was so strong that he would now need a bone marrow transplant.
“We knew the risks and we knew he only had 40 per cent chance of surviving, the odds were against him, and we nearly lost him several times but he made it.”
Monique said the whole town of Hastings and Bexhill had come together to raise money for Denny.
Details of the fundraisers can be found on Denny and Marley’s Facebook page.
A blog has also been set up for Denny here.
ALL originates in lymphocytes white blood cells in the bone marrow and it affects less than 800 people in the UK every year.
There is no approved CAR T-cell treatment currently on the NHS for Denny’s condition.