12:00PM, Thursday 02 February 2017
Mum Jessica, Dad Kulwant with baby Hari and three-year-old Reuben.
A £250,000 fundraising drive has been launched by the family of a brave little boy fighting a rare form of cancer to pay for overseas treatment.
Reuben Virdee, three, from Furze Platt, is currently receiving his third round of chemotherapy at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – which affects fewer than 100 children in the UK – in December.
His mum Jessica and father Kulwant, who live on the Cranbrook Drive estate with Reuben and their baby son Hari, have set up a fundraising page called Reuben’s Fight to raise money for future treatment once he is in remission.
Jessica said: “Reuben has taught me never to underestimate him and I’m so proud of him. He’s been through more medical procedures in two months than most people have in their lifetimes.
“Stage four high risk neuroblastoma unfortunately has a statistically high relapse rate. We have researched pioneering trials for preventing this that Reuben could be involved with.
“We have started to fundraise early because we know it’s such a huge amount to raise.
“The target has been decided based on advice from families who have already completed drug trials for neuroblastoma in the United States.”
Reuben, who turned three in December, spent his birthday receiving chemotherapy at John Radcliffe and spent New Year’s Day at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough.
More than £20,000 has been raised so far, and Jessica says the family has been overwhelmed with support from family and friends.
Jessica, who is a former Newlands Girls’ School pupil, said: “My husband and I both have close family and friends nearby and their support has got us through the last two months.
“His treatment here is anticipated to last at least 18 months by which time we will have been able to research and decide on the next steps that are best for him.
“Everyone just wants to help. We know he is a very loved little boy and we gain strength and hope for his future from knowing so many people are with us every step of the way.”
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