Here is George’s story, told by his mum, and why this incredible young man has inspired so many people around him to get involved.

“17-year-old George was a fit and talented rugby player when a back injury hampered, not only his rugby career but also his employment as a Gas Engineer Apprentice.

After a long period of treating his condition as a sporting injury which would seem to be healing but then reappeared, it was thought he was suffering from a form of Arthritis, the symptoms certainly indicated this was the case. However, scans and tests in January 2020, revealed the devastating diagnosis, Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma.

The next 12 months were so intense, 25 weeks spent in Bristol, away from our home in Cornwall. George received 18 Cycles of Chemotherapy during 2020.

As is the case with every other young person who we have met on our journey, George like them, has an incredible outlook, steely resolve and unwavering determination to deal with all that goes with the disease. He says “If I feel better tomorrow than I do today, I’m happy”... we all now go by those simple but powerful words!

Then came a bit of a game-changer, George’s Consultant had been in contact with The Royal Marsden Hospital who are running a trial of the drug Lorlatinib, heavily sponsored by Solving Kids’ Cancer, for Neuroblastoma patients who demonstrate the ALK gene. Lorlatinib is a targeted therapy that is moving towards the clinic thanks to various trials part-funded by SKC. He has a wonderful team who look after him there, along with his local shared care team, and we are delighted that his disease assessments at 2, 4 & 6 months have shown some positive results.

There aren’t words to describe how thankful we are for the amazing fundraising that takes place by people who support wonderful charities like SKC, who without them all, groundbreaking research and innovative, more effective drugs would not be available to young people like our son George.

As a result of the support SKC has shown George, our local rugby community and family friends have undertaken fundraising events recently, compelled to build on the fantastic work of so many others who have paved a way for such strides forward, in developing more effective treatments.

The Annual Paul Lethbridge Memorial Rugby Match between two Plymouth based teams was played this year with the proceeds going to SKC. The sun shone on the Veterans who locked horns and supporters who cheered them on. Match shirts and supporters’ shirts, proudly displaying the SKC butterfly were worn with pride and there was a sports memorabilia auction which thankfully ran out of control at times! They are predicting that they will have surpassed any previous amounts raised, which is fantastic.

5 friends of George’s Sister Rosie have also “Ran for George” in the Plymouth 10k. They showed incredible courage and determination to complete the course with a picture of George and the SKC emblem blazoned across their running shirts. It was an emotional event and we were immensely proud of their achievements.

Solving Kids' Cancer continue to look after us in many different ways and have a dedicated team who are responsive, caring and are pivotal in dealing with the challenges that the cancer journey throws up.”

 

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth

https://www.solvingkidscancer.org.uk/Blog/research-explainer-how-do-alk-gene-alterations-affect-the-clinical-outcome-for-patients-with-high-ri

https://www.solvingkidscancer.org.uk/News/landmark-transatlantic-trial-for-children-with-high-risk-neuroblastoma-funded-by-parent-led-charities