Family of toddler supporting World Cancer Day after St Albans fundraising campaign

Isla Austin had a high-risk neuroblastoma.

Isla Austin had a high-risk neuroblastoma. - Credit: Archant

The family of a toddler who was terminally ill are speaking out in support of World Cancer Day after they were helped by the St Albans community to raise more than £135,000.

Isla Austin is currently in remission and undergoing treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cance

Isla Austin is currently in remission and undergoing treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. - Credit: Archant

In early 2018, St Albans residents rallied together to help then two-year-old Isla Austin, who needed treatment to stop a high-risk neuroblastoma from reappearing.

In a matter of months, the Leverstock Green family had collected £135,000 for a clinical trial of The Bivalent Vaccine at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

On World Cancer Day this February 4, the Austins are supporting CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children and young people.

Dad Rick, 40, said: “The emotions change as you go along the journey really. At first we felt shock and anger and then after coming to terms with it we wanted to get on with it and just be there for Isla.

Isla Austin (left) with her twin Lottie.

Isla Austin (left) with her twin Lottie. - Credit: Archant


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“Everything just changes overnight when you get that diagnosis really. One day things are quite normal and the next everything is different.”

During treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Isla’s family received practical, emotional, and financial support from a CLIC Sargent social worker.

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Rick said: “We’re proud to be wearing our Band Against Cancer wristbands and supporting CLIC Sargent this World Cancer Day because they made a huge difference to me and my family at an awful time.”

CLIC Sargent senior fundraising and engagement manager for London and the South East, Hannah Lavendar, said: “Donating and getting your Band Against Cancer wristband is a simple way to show your support for CLIC Sargent and families like Isla’s, this World Cancer Day.

Isla Austin (right) with her twin Lottie.

Isla Austin (right) with her twin Lottie. - Credit: Archant

“Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer.

“Cancer costs for families in so many ways but with your help, CLIC Sargent can fight for these families by providing practical, emotional and financial support, to help minimise the damage cancer causes beyond their health.”

To find out more, visit www.clicsargent.org.uk/WorldCancerDayBands are also available in Morrisons supermarkets, JD Wetherspoon pubs, and some H Samuel and Ernest Jones shops.

Isla Austin (right) with her twin Lottie.

Isla Austin (right) with her twin Lottie. - Credit: Archant

Isla Austin (right) with her twin Lottie.

Isla Austin (right) with her twin Lottie. - Credit: Archant

Isla Austin (right) with her twin Lottie.

Isla Austin (right) with her twin Lottie. - Credit: Archant

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