Local boy seeks help to reach £500,000 goal to help treat rare childhood cancer

10-year old Harry Banks from Woburn Sands was diagnosed with rare childhood cancer and the local community are helping to reach his fundraising targets.

In 2014, Harry Banks, then a 10-year-old pupil at Fulbrook Middle School, was given the devastating news that he had stage 4 neuroblastoma, which is a very rare and aggressive childhood cancer with one of the lowest survival rates.

He spent two and half years in remission and the day finally came when he could finish his treatment. But in November 2018, Harry had to have an emergency operation to remove a tumour from his brain. It then emerged Harry had a relapse to the central nervous system, which was a situation even more rare than the cancer itself.

Unfortunately, Harry’s journey isn’t over and he still needs to under a ground-breaking trial by March this year, which is only available in Barcelona or New York, costing £500,000.

Nina Banks, Harry’s mother said, “The NHS has been fabulous with the care and treatment they have been able to provide for Harry so far but he is now in unknown NHS waters and this privately funded treatment is the only lifeline.”

When the staff at Fulbrook Middle School found out that this kind and caring 10 year-old had to undergo more treatment, they were all devastated. They immediately started thinking of ways they could help with funding.

Mr Ferrell, Harry’s Year 6 form tutor initiated the fundraising team by suggesting a ‘Brave the Shave’ and since this suggestion, 10 teachers are now joining in with this ‘act of solidarity’, as Mr Ferrell referred to it.

He added, “Harry is an inspiration to us all and I have the privilege of being his form tutor. When my colleagues and I found out about Harry’s condition time stood still at Fulbrook and I knew immediately that I had to do something to help. Shaving my head is nothing in comparison to what he is going through, but if we can raise awareness and help to meet the £500,000 target then I hope we can continue make Harry smile.”

The fundraising campaign is near the half way mark but there is still a long way to go. To find about more this campaign and donate to a worthy cause head to http://madaboutharry.org/.

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