Brave Ben's Superstars Fund
Thank you for agreeing to help raise money for the Superstars who save lives daily!
Ben was diagnosed April 2005 with a Tumour, he was just 6 years old. It was a 12cm tumour in his pelvic area, which was pressing on his sciatic nerve. Ben was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where we were told treatment protocols, and also told that its position made it inoperable.
Back to North Staffs, into Ward 110 – the Gordon Banks (Ex England Goal keeper) Oncology centre (named the Heroes room by patients), where treatment started.
In all Ben underwent:
An operation to fit an Hickman line, 7 doses of high intensity Chemotherapy, 6 months of twice daily injections of anti-coagulant, 5 MRI scans, 3 CT scans, 6 chest X-rays, 3 heart echo scans, 3 kidney function tests, 2 bone scans, innumerable Ng feeding tubes fitted, physiotherapy to get him walking again, an operation to fit a saline spacer bag into his abdomen, 6 weeks of intense radiotherapy (which burned the skin off his body), an operation to remove the spacer, 9 doses of maintenance chemo, 23 blood transfusions, 8 platelet transfusions, and eventually an operation to remove the Hickman line - hooray – and not a single complaint!! Ben started Treatment on April the 1st 2005, and finished on March 31st 2006, 1 year to the day!
From February 06, the consensus was that against all the odds – the tumour was DEAD!
We kept a rough tally of the people involved in bringing about this miracle, as the weeks went by. We tried to add up everyone from the GP who referred him, the consultants, surgeon, nurses, Macmillan Nurse, radiographers, ambulance drives, porters, cleaners, theatre staff, anaesthetists, dieticians, support workers, play therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, blood donors, platelet donors, Edwards house staff, Homeward who shipped in Ben’s feed, home tutors, teachers, Lab staff, chemo manufacturers, stores workers, pharmacy, accommodation officers, district nurses, community nurses, Ultrasound specialist, radiotherapists, radiotherapy planning staff, Heart echo testers, Kidney testers, bone scanners, Treetops hospice staff, Make a Wish staff, CLIC Sargent staff, Holistic healers, faith healer.
By the End of May 2005, the tally had already reached 302 people, by the end of his first set of treatment, a conservative estimate is 482 people – a staggering number, and if you add in most of North Staffordshire Church community who were praying (thanks to friends of ours), all of ABB and the Drives Alliance, for their unswerving support, and of course the support of super Amy (our Daughter) and our families and friends, without whom we would have definitely not made it, then the number grows immeasurably.
Unfortunately, Ben relapsed on 28th December 2006, after 9 months free of the disease, and underwent another 3 doses of Chemo, and 8 platelet transfusions, and 6 blood transfusions. The tumour continued to grow inexorably, until the doctors withdrew treatment and gave him 3 weeks to live. On 30th March 2007, Ben died. He had managed to remain well and happy and active and positive up until the last 3 days, and showed incredible courage carrying around a lump, which made him look pregnant, and again, never a single complaint!! He showed courage beyond his 8 years, and the 300 people at his funeral obviously agreed. We miss him immeasurably, but know we must show equal courage, and live on, making a difference to other cancer sufferers in his name.
We can NEVER repay these SuperStars for the dedication and support they gave to us, but we can try and give some small token of appreciation back, and with your help, we can help to reward and fund these Superstars in their unselfish, dedicated, unsung and crucial work.
Thanks for your support: Andy, Alison, Amy (and Ben)
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