Brave Wheathampstead boy on the mend
PUBLISHED: 06:47 19 April 2011
THIS time last year cancer had stripped every ounce of energy from Freddie Rowe-Crowder and there was just one chance of survival left open to the eight year old who had been told just six months before that his condition was terminal.
Fast-forward 12 months and the picture couldn’t be more different for the inspirational boy from Wheathampstead – he has bundles of energy, is back at school part time, enjoying games with his many friends and has a great chance of long-term recovery.
Thanks to his friends, family, school and the Herts Advertiser raising the £60,000 needed for him to undergo a pioneering treatment in Germany, there is just a small shadow of cancer – known as neuroblastoma – left in his body.
It has remained the same in size more than four months without treatment but because there is no effective way of telling if the cancer is still active, doctors have decided that Freddie will undergo a short two-and-a-half week course of radiotherapy this month to give him the best possible chance of a full recovery.
His dad Tep said: “Fred is beginning to be a bit fed up of hospitals. He’s had over two years of his childhood ripped away from him.
“Now, thanks to the German treatment that Herts Advertiser readers contributed to achieve so selflessly, he feels so well and has so much energy, that he just wants to play games and be at school, like all his friends. I know, however, that he’ll approach radiotherapy with the same bravery and good grace he has all the other treatments.”
He continued: “Thank you again from us to Herts Advertiser readers, for being there for him, in thought and word and deed. Please keep him in your prayers.”
Freddie was diagnosed with stage four cancer – the most advanced and least curable – in February 2009 and the disease had spread all over his body and into his bones.
Chemotherapy, transplants and a major operation failed to provide a cure and in September 2009 doctors delivered the devastating news that there were no treatments left to try and Freddie was taken home for palliative care.
He was not even expected to see that Christmas but he fought back against all the odds and he was considered an ideal candidate for a new antibody treatment which had come along.
The enormous £60,000 needed to pay for the treatment was raised within weeks of the Herts Advertiser launching its campaign to support the fundraising efforts already underway and Freddie completed his treatment in November.
Tep understands that, with the knowledge of Freddie’s experience, the Government has now released funds to trial the treatment in the UK.
He added: “That’s great news, as we know without the treatment he underwent in Germany, Freddie wouldn’t be with us today, so it gives hope to many children in his situation.
“We know the antibody treatment is no panacea, but for some it will be the difference between life and death.”