Campaign goes on for brave St Albans cancer battler Bailey
PUBLISHED: 12:54 20 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:22 20 April 2012
A ST ALBANS mum has pleaded with locals to "not give up on us" after her brave 12 year old embarked upon his eighth round of chemotherapy this week.
Becki Jones, whose son Bailey Sarwa is fighting a relapse of neuroblastoma, a rare cancer, after seven years of remission, said that many people had recently asked about his treatment.
Big-hearted residents, pupils and business people have banded together to support the Bailey Sarwa Appeal, so far raising more than £61,000 for the boy’s potentially life-saving treatment overseas.
He originally fell ill at the age of four but doctors dismissed his symptoms on eight occasions as either imaginary or constipation, until a grapefruit-sized tumour was eventually discovered in his stomach.
Following a recurrence of the cancer Bailey returned to Great Ormond Street Hospital for medical care, but it has refused to give him antibody treatment, saying it is not available to those who have relapsed or have not responded to standard treatment.
That has forced his family, including dad Chris Sarwa, to seek funding for Bailey’s treatment in either Germany or the United States.
Becki said that it was taking Bailey “longer and longer to recover after each round of chemo, but he never loses his fighting spirit”.
After undergoing chemotherapy this week he will have bone and brain scans and tests including on his bone marrow to ascertain the extent of the disease.
But he cannot have stem cell harvesting done until more of his body is clear of the cancer, and should that harvest be successful, Bailey can then have mass radiation with high dose chemotherapy.
Then Bailey would need to go to either Germany or the United States for antibody treatment. Becki went on: “Bailey doesn’t want to go anywhere and neither do I but sadly as our government won’t fund [a] relapse, we don’t have a choice.
“Bay [Bailey’s nickname] has asked me, ‘mum do you think I’m going to survive it again?’ to which I reply, ‘of course you are and we won’t ever give up Bay’.”
Becki has asked for continued support, pleading: “Please keep thinking of ways to help. Please don’t give up on us, for those who know Bay know how special he is.
“He just needs a chance. You have all been amazing.”
n Step back in time to enjoy a vintage tea dance in aid of the appeal next Friday, April 27, at St Mary’s church hall in Marshalswick between 2-5pm. Tickets for the fundraiser, which includes vintage afternoon tea and dancing, cost £10. Phone Louise O’Brien on 01727 893752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
n A salsa and disco evening, featuring DJ Alfonso, will be held at Greenwood Park, Tippendell Lane, Chiswell Green, next Saturday April 28. People are welcome to come and dance the night away to a mix of salsa and dance music in aid of Bailey’s appeal. Admission is £10 per person and the event runs from 8pm until 1am. For further information contact Francesca on 07791385343