A fundraising appeal to save the life of a 10-year-old boy from Milton Keynes has raised an incredible £490,000 in just three weeks.
Harry Banks needs pioneering new treatment overseas to help him beat Neuroblastoma brain cancer.
The cheeky, sports-mad schoolboy was diagnosed at the age of six and has already been through chemo, surgery, radiotherapy and all the treatments the NHS can offer.
When he went into remission for two years his Woburn Sands family breathed a sign of relief. But last November they were given the devastating news that the cancer had returned to the central nervous system.
Harry is currently under the care of the John Radcliffe hospital and is due to have cranio-spinal radiotherapy next week. But it may not be enough to keep the cancer at bay.
Three weeks ago the MK Citizen reported how the family had launched a fundraising campaign called Mad About Harry to raise half a million pounds to send him to America for the private treatment involving an antibody drug called 8H9.
At that time the family’s own efforts had raised a brilliant £66,000, some £444,000 off the required target amount. And they were in a race against time to raise the remainder.
But the response to last month’s appeal has been quite simply staggering. Harry’s story reached all corners of the globe, with sporting legends such as Sir Alastair Cook, Will Greenwood and Dylan Hartley adding their support.
Now the £500,000 target has not only been reached but surpassed with over £556,000 raised.
And little Harry's delighted mum Nina has thanked everybody for their generosity.
She said: "Thank you to each and every one of you who have helped make this happen. The continued support from friends, family, the local community and strangers alike has been truly heartwarming. You really have made a difference to Harry’s tomorrow. Thank you."
The family is keeping the appeal open to help other neuroblastoma victims. You can donate on the Mad About Harry fundraising page.
The website states: "All funds raised have been placed in a trust to be used for Harry’s current and future treatment and associated costs. At a point where no further treatment is required, or can reasonably be expected, the trustees and the family will agree how best to apportion the funds as set out on the website: neuroblastoma research; and children and their families that are affected by this cruel disease."