Saturday, 20 July 2019

Boy, 11, has reasons to be cheerful after cancer treatment

Boy, 11, has reasons to be cheerful after cancer treatment

THE mother of a boy fighting cancer says specialist treatment has almost eradicated the disease.

Charlie Ilsley, 11, has spent weeks at a time in Turkey in recent months having chemotherapy.

His latest MRI scan showed that only a tiny amount remains on his spine and it is hoped a final, high dose of chemotherapy at Ankara Memorial Hospital will help get rid of this.

Charlie will then spend several more weeks there with his mother Toni while he recovers before flying home and being reunited with the rest of the family at their home in Buckingham Drive, Emmer Green.

A doctor told them the good news after the scan.

Mrs Ilsley said: “[He said] Charlie was ready for the high dose and there was just a tiny streak left. He hadn’t measured but said it was tiny. We were so relieved.”

Charlie will undergo a series of tests in preparation for the high dose treatment, which will last a week. This will be followed by a stem cell transplant to help boost his immune system. He will then have to wait for his bone marrow to recover before coming home.

His father Mark, a builder, has returned home to work but he and the couple’s other son, Ollie, will fly to Anakara for Charlie's birthday on March 4 as long as he and his mother are able to leave the isolation ward by then. Mr Isley and her son spent more than five weeks in Turkey over Christmas and New Year while Charlie had treatment.

They then spent a few days at home, where they had a belated Christmas celebration, before returning for Charlie to have another round of chemotherapy.

After another short break at home they returned to Turkey on February 5. Meanwhile, the family have been told that Charlie has had his wish granted by the children’s charity Rays of Sunshine. He will be flown with his family to Florida in May so he can swim with dolphins.

Charlie first showed signs of being ill in March 2015. Doctors discovered a tumour about the size of a snooker ball in his brain. Another tumour was found on his spine.

He underwent a 10-hour operation in April that year in which the brain tumour was partially removed. He then had 31 sessions of radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy before he was given the all-clear in March 2016.

Then last March two tumours on his spine were discovered and he had CyberKnife treatment, the latest radiotherapy technology, in Turkey.

This is not available to children at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he had surgery and chemotherapy previously.

More than £35,000 has been raised towards the cost of Charlie’s treatment, the family’s flights and for the stem cell treatment but more is needed.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.

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