Oliver is a happy, cheeky and brave six-year-old boy who loves spending time and playing with his little brother and cousins. He’s a big lego fan and absolutely loves Star Wars!

But Oliver was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma in the first week of 2016. Following lengthy treatment and despite achieving remission, Oliver relapsed in January 2018, and then devastatingly again in April 2019.

When the cancer returns the chances of survival drop to less than 10% and treatment options can become more limited.

His family and clinician identified immunotherapy treatment (Hu3f8) in Barcelona as the best option but this has been put on hold while Oliver has the treatment he needs to clear his cancer.

In June 2019 he had successful brain surgery to remove a tumour that caused a bleed on the brain and he's currently receiving radiotherapy to that area, before hopefully more chemotherapy to get rid of the other spots of disease.

Oliver's family are continuing to fundraise in case he needs further treatment that is not available on the NHS, to clear the disease and/or hopefully keep it from returning again if he does get into remission.

Oliver’s story

Towards the end of 2015, Oliver began to feel unwell and started complaining his knees were hurting. During December he also developed severe tummy pain and visited his GP on several occasions. On New Year’s Eve, he was so unwell that he had to go to the hospital.

The next few days were full of blood tests and investigations. The family were transferred to Southampton General Hospital where they were given the devastating news that Oliver had stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma – the cancer had spread from his abdominal tumour into his bone and bone marrow. 

“It was unbearable news that no-one ever imagines hearing about their son or daughter. We felt numb, disbelieving and had an overwhelming sense of fear over what the future held, plus the possibility that we could lose our little boy,” says mum Jo.

Treatment

Oliver embarked on a gruelling 18-month treatment plan which began with ten rounds of intensive chemotherapy and an 8-hour surgery to remove the tumour. Oliver then had his stem cells harvested before undergoing high dose chemotherapy, after which he spent a number of weeks in isolation as he was so vulnerable to infection. 

One risk of high dose chemotherapy is a condition called Venous Occlusive Disease (VOD), which can be fatal.

“Oliver did develop VOD and became incredibly unwell. One of the drugs given to help treat VOD also caused him to develop internal bleeding and he ended up spending over three months in hospital with several periods of time in intensive care and high dependency units,” says Jo.

No evidence of neuroblastoma

By the end of October 2016 and after three weeks of radiotherapy – scans showed Oliver to be completely free of the disease. As a result, he was included on an immunotherapy trial for five months and in May 2017 he was given the all-clear!

Oliver started school in September 2017 and Jo says: “He was a little nervous at first, having had very little time at preschool, but by November was starting to settle in and gain confidence.” Sadly, it was all about to change though.

Relapse

In December 2017 Oliver began to feel unwell again and in the New Year, one of the glands in his neck became very enlarged.

“We were naturally concerned about his symptoms and took him to see his Oncology Consultant in Southampton. On 24th January it was confirmed that Oliver had suffered a relapse. It was heartbreaking to think our little boy would have to, again, endure the horrors of cancer, the treatment it entails and all the dreadful side effects,” says Jo.

Oliver responded very well to 11 months of chemotherapy but with some disease left in his bone marrow, his family and clinician identified immunotherapy treatment (Hu3f8) in Barcelona as the best option to clear the remaining disease. Thanks to your amazing support in raising £203,000, Oliver started this treatment successfully in early 2019, but this sadly had to be put on hold due to increased HAHA antibody levels. Sadly there was further bad news around the corner. 

Brain surgery

Just before Easter 2019, Oliver developed a severe headache along with sickness. He was taken by ambulance to hospital where a CT scan revealed a significant bleed on the brain. Oliver recovered but further scans showed this was caused by a relapse - his cancer had returned with a tumour on the brain.

Oliver underwent successful brain surgery in June 2019 where the tumour was removed but his neuroblastoma had already spread to his bone marrow and other areas. He's currently receiving radiotherapy before hopefully chemotherapy to try and clear his spots of disease. 

Oliver’s fundraising campaign

Oliver's family are continuing to fundraise in case he needs further treatment that is not available on the NHS, to clear the disease and/or hopefully keep it from returning again if he does get into remission.

How you can help

There are many ways you can help Oliver: by making a personal donation; holding a fundraising event; getting sponsored to take on a challenge; or simply by following and sharing Oliver’s story through his Facebook pageTwitter profile, or Instagram.

Download our free Oliver resources (below) to support your fundraising, and CLICK HERE for even more resources, including fundraising ideas, templates and guidance.

Sponsorship Form Campaign Poster Event Poster

To donate by text, send “OLIVERWARNER” 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.

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

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