11-year-old Peter is a keen gamer and loves all things Lego and playing Minecraft. He enjoys spending time cycling, swimming ancrafting, especially drawing and cross-stitching and his favourite animal is a rabbit! 

On New Year's Eve 2018, after complaining of backache and tingles in one leg it was confirmed that Peter had a growth in his thorax that was pressing on his spinal cord, causing a spinal cord injury. After emergency surgery, his spinal cord injury did not make the immediate recovery that was hoped for, leaving him with no movement or sensation in his lower body. Days after the surgery his parents were given the devastating news that the growth in his thorax was neuroblastoma. 

After enduring intense frontline treatment, Peter was no evidence of disease in February 2020. Just 6 months later, in August 2020, after noticing a lump on his skull, parents Mandy and Martin were told that Peter had sadly relapsed with the disease spreading throughout his body. 

The family have decided to start fundraising for further treatment either to get Peter back into remission or to try and keep the cancer away if his treatment goes to plan. This could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

Peter’s Story 

Peter’s parents first noticed something wasn’t right in December 2018. He had been complaining on and off for a couple of weeks about backache and on a couple of occasions about tingles running up and down one leg. Between Christmas and New Year 2018 these symptoms escalated to wobbly walking and difficulty going up and down stairs. As the family were away for the Christmas period, on New Year’s Eve, mum Mandy took Peter to his grandmother’s GP who immediately sent the family to A&E. A few hours and an MRI later and it was confirmed that Peter had a growth in his thorax. Following a biopsy, a couple of days later, Peter suffered a spinal cord injury from where the growth was pressing on his spinal cord, and he underwent emergency surgery the next day to remove the part of the growth causing the pressure. Unfortunately, while the operation was a success in releasing the pressure, Peter’s spinal cord injury did not make the immediate recovery that was hoped for, leaving him with no movement or sensation in his lower body.  

Twelve days after he was admitted to hospital, Peter was well enough to be transferred from Edinburgh Sick Kids to Manchester Children’s Hospital, nearer to home. Before the family were transferred, they were given the devastating news that the growth in his thorax was neuroblastoma. 

After arriving in Manchester, Peter immediately began an intensive course of chemotherapy. During this time the family received some good news – Peter’s cancer originally thought to be high risk was downgraded to intermediate risk. His chances were further improved in May 2019 when surgeons were able to completely remove what remained of the tumour after chemotherapy. Peter then had a short course of radiotherapy to the tumour site and six months of maintenance treatment to prevent the cancer from returning.  

Peter’s treatment officially finished in February 2020, and the attention was turned to his spinal cord injury. In over a year since his injury, he had made amazing progress with his rehabilitation, regaining strength and independence, and was getting involved in many different activities including hand-cycling and swimming. As with everyone, the pandemic put a stop to many things, but his family found ways for Peter to stay active and took the precious time at home together as a time to take a breath after many months of trauma and make plans for their future post-pandemic. Peter was still being scanned and tested regularly but his parents felt as if the cancer was behind them. 

Relapse and enrolling on the BEACON study 

In August 2020, Peter noticed a lump on his skull. He was scanned and a couple of weeks later the family received the devastating news that his neuroblastoma had relapsed and, to add to the devastation, it had not relapsed in the original tumour site but had spread throughout his body. He had a tumour on his skull, lesions on his pelvis and evidence of disease in his bone marrow classing his relapse as high risk and vastly reducing his chances of long-term survival. He was immediately registered for the BEACON study and was randomised to the treatment arm that treats with chemotherapy only. To begin with, the treatment kept the tumour growth at bay, and he was classed as ‘stable’ but after four cycles of treatment, the tumour began to grow again.  

Peter crossed over to the alternative treatment arm of the trial which combines chemotherapy and immunotherapy and so far he has had five cycles of treatment. The tumour and pelvic lesions have remained stable, and the family recently had the wonderful news that there is no longer any evidence of disease in his bone marrow. He has one more cycle of this treatment to complete and then he will have radiotherapy to the skull tumour.  

 Fundraising campaign 

After the radiotherapy is completed, the picture is more uncertain. There are still options ahead, but relapsed neuroblastoma is hard to treat and many of the treatment options available are not based in the UK. Further treatment for Peter could include a clinical trial in America which could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

“In the last year Peter has, despite all the cancer treatment, continued to grow in strength and independence. He is a determined, resilient young boy who has never once asked why this has happened to him but has instead pushed himself to achieve things that have amazed us and made us so incredibly proud. It is rare not to see a smile on his face and he inspires everyone whose life he touches. His spinal cord injury is not holding him back, only the cancer is,” says mum, Mandy. 

The family have decided to start fundraising for further treatment either to get Peter back into remission or to try and keep the cancer away if his treatment goes to plan. This could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

How you can help 

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

To donate by text, send “PETERB” 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 Peter 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 to support Peter’s campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 and [email protected] 

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