Oscar smiles during treatment

In loving memory of Oscar Knox 10.09.08 - 08.05.14

Oscar was born in September 2008, first child to Stephen and Leona Knox, a precious and much-longed-for son.

Oscar also has a beautiful little sister Isobella, better known as Izzie, who was born in July 2010. The two children were very close companions and love playing together.

He loved Scooby-Doo and Tree Fu Tom. They both loved Peppa Pig, and one of their favourite games was chasing each other around the house, squealing with laughter at their own little version of hide and seek.

Oscar’s story

Everything was perfect until September 2011, shortly after Oscar started at playgroup. He was making new friends and having a great time, but suddenly everything changed. Oscar became tired, withdrawn and just not himself. He would sit around on the sofa a lot more than usual. He woke up most nights distressed and crying and sometimes appeared to be in pain when he was picked up.

Just as Oscar’s parents were becoming quite concerned he suddenly stopped using his left arm altogether. He was taken to Accident and Emergency 10th October 2011, and after a series of tests, doctors informed his parents that they suspected he had leukaemia.

This was a terrible shock for Stephen and Leona.

Oscar’s family spent the following six weeks with Oscar in severe pain and going through test after test, each of which was inconclusive.

Finally, on 24th November, Stephen and Leona received the devastating news that cancerous cells had been found in Oscar’s bone marrow, and the task was to now determine the type and source of that cancer.

On 30th November, it was finally confirmed that Oscar had Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, which had spread right throughout his little body.

Oscar immediately began 80 days of intense chemotherapy as part of a clinical trial. This treatment was extremely tough and he was very ill at times. It had great success in that it cleared most of the neuroblastoma, but Oscar needed to be taken off this trial in order to receive further specialist treatment in London. This meant that he was no longer eligible to receive a vital part of the clinical trial treatment - immunotherapy. This was a huge setback for Oscar.

Children with advanced-stage neuroblastoma have a significantly decreased chance of being cured, even with intensive therapy. This is despite the fact that many patients reach the end of their treatment with no detectable disease.

There were no treatment options in the UK which would have given Oscar access to the immunotherapy that he desperately needed to give him the best chance of life.

Parents have been waiting since March 2010 for a new immunotherapy trial to open that all UK children with neuroblastoma can take part in. However, they are still waiting.

The Oscar Knox Appeal was fundraising for his potentially life-saving immunotherapy treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and any associated costs. But doctors in America discovered a condition which prevented him from having the crucial immunotherapy treatment. 

Sadly Oscar’s long battle with neuroblastoma ended on 8th May 2014.

His father Stephen paid a fitting tribute to his son who “inspired thousands”.