The family of a Wirral teenager with a rare brain tumour want to raise £80,000 for pioneering treatment to help him go back to school.
Will Allen, from Prenton, was diagnosed with the inoperable condition twelve months ago and although the tumour shrank after radiotherapy, it is now growing again.
The 14-year-old is now having a second round of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre , and it is hoped he can start innovative new treatment in the New Year developed by a Bristol-based neurosurgeon.
Nicola works as a production manager at Lime Pictures, makers of TV soap Hollyoaks , and the cast and crew are among those who have rallied round to support Will.
She told the ECHO: “This treatment would change Will’s life and hopefully it would mean he can return to school and have fun again.
“He goes to St Anselm’s and he was attending school up until September but is no longer able to go. He’s on his second round of radiotherapy and is having 17 sessions, then the aim is for him to have the new treatment in January.
“It was pioneered by Professor Stephen Gill, who had to raise £900,000 for a clinical trial, but it’s not NHS-funded.”
Nicola and other members of Will’s family previously helped to raise £7,000 for Alder Hey children’s hospital as a thank you after Will’s diagnosis.
Doctors discovered the teenager had a rare brain tumour, which affects just 30-40 children a year, after he began to experience double vision.
Will is a big Liverpool FC fan and during his illness has been invited to games and to meet players and manager Jurgen Klopp at Melwood.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which arranges special experiences for children suffering from serious illnesses, has also arranged a break for Will and his family, including parents Helen and Stephen and brothers Thomas, 17 and James, 12, to a holiday park in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire.
Nicola said: “He’s a very humble little boy, and he couldn’t believe it when he was invited to Melwood and met the Liverpool FC players. Little things like that mean a lot.
“One of our artists, Nikki Sanderson, is an ambassador for Make-A-Wish and they’re giving Will a little holiday – Nikki and the cast and crew, everybody in the building, has been amazing. They’ve really wanted to help.”
Hollyoaks’ cast and crew held a bake sale on Friday to raise money for Will’s appeal, with stars including Anna Passey and Jessica Fox sharing photos of their sweet treats on Twitter.
And Will joined in the fun by baking brownies for the team.
Nicola added: “We need to secure this vital treatment for Will. It’s a massive amount of money that we need to raise but everyone has been incredible.”
Donations to the appeal can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nichughes
ALL CREDIT: LIVERPOOL ECHO