A Northumberland couple, whose son was treated for a rare brain tumour, have already surpassed their 2016 target for a regional charity.
In just three months, Amy and Alex Fawcett, of Stannington, have raised more than £11,000 for the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (NECCR). They had set out to bring in £11,000 by the end of the year.
The self-confessed ‘un-sporty’ couple, along with family and friends, are taking part in a series of tough sporting challenges. These are being supplemented by a few fund-raising events, such as princesses and superheroes family fun afternoon in Stannington Village Hall that took place in January.
The treatment for Joseph, now aged three, included 11 bouts of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant that spanned the course of seven months.
Amy said: “There has been overwhelming support for the appeal. When we first started, we had so many people asking what they could do to help and from then on we’ve been overrun with donations and people creating their own events to raise even more money.
“It really has become its own network of people coming to help and we couldn’t be more grateful.
“Knowing that Joseph has so much support is a lovely thought for our family – and he loves the attention.
“His story has obviously touched many people and it makes us want to work even harder to raise as much money as possible.”
The couple, both 34, ran the Morpeth 11k and Alex participated in the Abu Dhabi Triathlon. Either separately or together, they will do the Edinburgh Marathon, Tough Mudder Midlands challenge and Great North Run, among others, between now and the end of the year.
Joseph was just eight months old when he was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour in July of 2013. During his treatment, he spent only a handful of nights at home with his mum and dad, spending most of his time in hospital.
Amy said: “The doctors and nurses on the paediatric oncology ward were absolutely incredible and made our time in hospital as comfortable as possible, and whenever Joseph goes back to hospital for his regular scans and check-up appointments, they’re always so pleased to see the progress he’s made.
“Joseph’s treatment was a success and thankfully there have been no signs of his cancer returning.
“He has a scan coming up soon and all being well, this will mark his two-year anniversary of being cancer free.
“The treatment has affected Joseph in other ways – he’s suffered loss of hearing and damage to his immune system. But despite that, Joseph is doing very well. He attends nursery two days a week and enjoys playing with his two-year-old brother, William.”
Janet Price, fund-raiser for the NECCR, said: “The achievement that has been made by the Fawcett family is absolutely incredible.”