Brave Wheathampstead boy Freddie celebrates eighth birthday nobody thought he'd live to see

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 June 2010

A SPARKY Freddie Rowe-Crowder celebrated his birthday in hospital for the second year running at the weekend.

The brave youngster from Wheathampstead, who turned eight on Sunday, remained with his mum in Germany where he was undergoing the second cycle of the ground-breaking cancer treatment which will hopefully cure him of the disease he has been fighting since February last year.

Despite having to spend his big day in the confines of the hospital, Freddie remained in high spirits and was chuffed with a Star Wars Lego kit which his nurses gave him and a phonecall from dad Tep Crowder and older sister Aggie who sang Happy Birthday down the line.

The treatment in Germany is Freddie’s last hope of survival after chemotherapy, transplants and operations failed to wipe out the cancer, called neuroblastoma.

Freddie’s parents had faced an uphill struggle to raise the £60,000 needed for the potentially life-saving treatment, but thanks to his school, friends, family and a fundraising campaign by the Herts Advertiser they hit the target last month due to the overwhelming generosity of the public and two enormous donations from readers.

The St Helen’s School pupil started the second round of the treatment on May 31 and, while he was feeling well initially, the side effects had started to take their toll on him by the middle of last week, making him feel very ill and causing a lot of pain.

But he was able to come off his morphine drip last Thursday night and taken off the remaining five drips on Monday, ahead of flying home yesterday.

Speaking earlier this week Tep said: “He’s doing really well, really sparky.

“He’ll finish the last few days of this treatment with the antibody being fed into him using a NASA-designed pump.

“This uses a pressurised bottle to slowly infuse the antibody over the last four days. It requires no power source, so means he can travel.”

He is then expected to have the pump removed at Great Ormond Street today.

Later this week Freddie’s parents will be discussing the next part of his treatment with his professor who has mentioned moving him onto an immunotherapy treatment following the antibody therapy in Germany.

Tep added: “The fact he’s thinking of that is great. It gives an indication that he’s positive about Fred’s progress.”

Freddie’s high profile plight has blazed a trail which is now being followed by other British children, with a boy from Newcastle arriving at the hospital in Germany for a course of treatment last week.

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