Ollie sitting on a staircase

Ollie celebrated his 3rd birthday in February this year. He is a happy and cheeky chilled out boy who loves fire engines, cars, planes and especially trains. He’s a big fan of PJ Mask, Paw Patrol, Buzz Lightyear and Fireman Sam and is known for giving out high fives!

Just before his 2nd birthday little Ollie was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. Since then he has undergone invasive and intensive treatment, including lots of rounds of chemotherapy, high-dose chemotherapy, 12 hours of surgery, stem cell harvest, radiotherapy and numerous side effects from these treatments. He has endured so many blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, painkillers, antibiotics and so much more.  Throughout all of the treatment, Ollie has continued to smile and be happy to play with his toys. He's now receiving immunotherapy treatment and his halfway scans show no evidence of disease (NED). 

Ollie's family hope his next round of scans completed at the end of the immunotherapy treatment will confirm NED and he is declared as in remission, but, there is still a chance he will relapse in the future.

Ollie’s mum and dad, Lucy and Gary, are determined to do everything they can to give him the best possible chance of beating this awful disease. They are looking to raise £241,000 by April 2020 so Ollie can receive a clinical trial vaccine in New York that aims to keep the cancer from coming back.  

Diagnosis

In late November 2018, Ollie’s parents started to notice a change in him.

“He became a very sad child. He was getting very clingy and unsociable – completely the opposite to how he usually is,” say Gary and Lucy. “He stopped enjoying the things he loved doing like going to nursery and swimming. He stopped eating and only wanted to sit watching TV.”

They noticed his skin becoming translucent and his veins being very visible. “His stomach was also very swollen and his belly button bulged out. He was very irritable when it came to changing his nappy.”

They took Ollie to the doctors on many occasions with high temperatures and sometimes sickness. They thought it was just a viral infection and it would work itself out. But after several visits, Gary and Lucy insisted on seeing their local GP who immediately referred Ollie to the Paediatric ward at Luton and Dunstable hospital.

Blood tests were taken which found Ollie to be anaemic. But just before he was to be discharged, a doctor asked to feel Ollie’s stomach. An emergency ultrasound was called for and a tumour was found in his abdomen.

Hearing the word ‘neuroblastoma’

Ollie was immediately transferred to Addenbrooke’s hospital. After several days of testing and scans it was finally confirmed on January 9th 2019 that Ollie had stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma.

“He had a tumour in his abdomen around one of his kidneys and another tumour growing behind his right eye, which was pushing on his eyeball. The cancer had also spread to his bone marrow,” say Gary and Lucy.

“We can’t even describe the feelings we felt when we were told. It was quite simply the worst day of our lives. No one can prepare you for it, but we had to accept it and be strong for Ollie. We decided that no one was allowed to cry around him – if we felt ourselves feeling emotional we left the room for a moment and just try to be positive around him.”

Starting treatment immediately

Ollie started chemotherapy the day after his diagnosis and then had surgery and more intensive chemotherapy, which involved being in isolation for weeks.

“We already noticed the difference in him. It was like we had our old Ollie back. Running around, playing with his cars and wanting to interact with other children once again.”

Ollie then had radiotherapy before starting several months of immunotherapy - due to finish in April/May.

Fundraising campaign

Ollie’s mum and dad, Lucy and Gary, are determined to do everything they can to give him the best possible chance of beating high-risk neuroblastoma. They need to raise £241,000 by April 2020 so Ollie can receive the Bivalent Vaccine clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York that aims to keep the cancer from coming back.  

Please help give Ollie the best chance of beating this devastating disease.

How you can help

There are many ways you can help Ollie: by making a personal donation; by sharing his story on Facebook, holding a fundraising event; getting sponsored to take on a challenge.

To donate by text, send “OLLIESWEENEY” 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 Ollie resources below, to support your fundraising.

Sponsorship Form Campaign Poster Event Poster

You can make a donation via this page.

If you’d like to help supporting Ollie’s campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 and [email protected]

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