Wee Oscar support 'gives us strength'

Published Tuesday, 25 September 2012
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The parents of Oscar Knox, the brave boy who is battling cancer, tell UTV how the global campaign for his treatment has helped them through the dark days.

Wee Oscar support 'gives us strength'
Little Oscar Knox. (© UTV)

To the naked eye, four year old Oscar is a bright and bubbly little boy.

However he is suffering from stage four neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer which could kill him.

Oscar's family started a campaign to raise the money he needs to go abroad for treatment, and it has gone global through social media.

He now has over 13,000 followers on the social media site Twitter, including many famous faces such as Gary Barnes, Gary Lightbody, Joe Ledley and many others.

The campaign has raised over £200,000 since June, and his parents Stephen and Leona said the power of the campaign has helped them get through some of their darkest days.

Leona said: "When we heard the extent of his disease I actually thought, is there any point in treating him?

He is such a lovable kid and fundraising event after fundraising event you know, people were contacting us to offer to help, absolute strangers.

Leona Knox

"It was right from the top of his skull through his whole body, bones, right down to his right ankle. All through all of his organs and bone marrow."

Stephen added: "We really did think he was finished, like."

But the family fought on. Oscar had chemotherapy right away, and is still having radiotherapy as his liver is affected by the disease.

He can be in hospital for weeks on end, at one stage being in London isolated in a lead-lined room as Oscar was essentially radioactive. Oscar's disease has meant Leona has had to give up work, with the Knoxes putting their lives on hold for their young son.

"There's so much support for him right across the world, it's just amazing and it gives us so much strength to see all the nice messages coming in," said his dad.

"It's great."

Leona continued: "What really took off for us in the fund raising was Oscar Knox wristbands, Team Oscar, we used that hash-tag before we relaunched the appeal just to talk about Team Oscar, we're in hospital this is what's happening with him today kind of thing, so loads of other people following were using it as well.

"We decided to get these silicone wristbands made up just saying the Oscar Knox appeal, hashtag Tteam Oscar and the demand for those has been phenomenal."

Sporting stars and other celebrities have joined the campaign.

Indeed Nevin Spence, the Ulster Rugby star who died in a farming accident 10 days ago, was giving his time to little Oscar just two days before his death.

On 11 October, Oscar will be putting on his little tuxedo again for a gala fundraiser in Belfast.

His mother said: "The past ten months, what Oscar has come through has been incredible.

"We get so many messages saying that he's an inspiration and he truly is because for a kid so young to go through that as a parent I can't even talk about how hard that is. He's still smiling and he lights up the ward, everyone loves to see him coming."
© UTV News
Comments Comments
conair in belfast wrote (852 days ago):
Well done to the Glasgow Celtic fans who raised £32,000 in a bucket collection.
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