Family hope treatment in Turkey will provide Lee with a lifeline
THE family of an eight-year-old boy from Lyde Green who has leukaemia are hoping treatment in Turkey will provide them with the lifeline they need.
As previously reported, Lee Belgium’s family are calling on the community to help them raise £90,000 for treatment. As the Voice went to press, the family had raised £23,000.
Lee, who was first diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in May 2016 when he was six, has undergone intensive chemotherapy and also spent six months in hospital. The disease returned in January and May 2018, when he ended up dying for eight minutes and spent two months recovering in intensive care.
His family were given the devastating news in August 2018 that cancer had returned in his bone marrow, and he now goes to Bristol Children’s Hospital three times a week to have chemotherapy, steroids and a new trial drug. The family have decided to do everything they can to raise £90,000 for Lee to go abroad for a treatment trial and a bone marrow transplant, which they hope will save his life.
Following our last report, Lee’s mum Clare has received the news that Bristol Children’s Hospital plan to change Lee’s chemotherapy to a higher dose of cyclophosphamide and cytarabine, and a hospital in Turkey has also said that they are able to treat him. The treatment at Memorial Sisli Hospital in Istanbul will cost $50,000 for six weeks of chemotherapy and hospitalisation, and despite the family having raised just under half of the total needed so far through selling a car, their online fundraising pages and fundraising events, the hospital have said that Clare can put down an initial payment of $5000 on the day and the remaining funds paid later.
Clare will travel with Lee to Turkey, and although she is uncertain on dates at the moment she told the Voice that Lee is looking forward to the trip. She said: “At the moment he is going to hospital every day, and we’re glad that there’s something out there that can help him.”
The family are hoping that the treatment will help to get Lee’s cancer under a certain level, and their main goal is a bone marrow transplant which should take place after six weeks, depending on the success of the initial treatment.
Park Primary School in Kingswood have donated £1800, Cleve Rugby Club in Mangotsfield ran a family fun day with bouncy castle, wrestling match and live band, a coffee morning was held at Lyde Green Community Centre and the Malthouse Pub in Thornbury held a bingo night and will hold a family fun day on Sunday March 3. A charity football match at Ashton Gate Stadium is planned for Thursday May 9.
To find out more about Lee’s fight, visit the family’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/leebelgium. To support Lee’s family in their goal to raise £90,000, visit their Go Fund Me page: www.gofundme.com/beautiful-boy-with-acute-lymphoblastic-leukaemia