A four-year-old boy may not be able to get a life-saving vaccine he needs for cancer after plans to raise funds were hit by the coronavirus lockdown.
Liam Scott has spent most of the last year receiving gruelling treatment for neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that affects around 100 children in the UK every year.
The end of his treatment is finally approaching but his family fear there is a high chance the cancer could return.
An experimental vaccine could prevent a recurrence but it is only available in New York and his family are struggling to raise the money they need because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Parents Claire and Michael Scott, of Sevenoaks in Kent, have been trying to raise £232,000 to pay for the treatment.
Ms Scott said: “He has been in so much pain.
“As a parent you can’t even begin to explain how you feel because you want it to be you, you want to take all that away from them and there’s nothing you can do. You just feel so helpless.”
Liam was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in July 2019, the day after Ms Scott gave birth to his baby sister Kylie.
Ms Scott, 40, said she and her husband were “absolutely devastated” when doctors diagnosed the cancer.
Paw Patrol fan Liam has undergone painful treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy.
It is hoped Liam will be in remission after his last round of immunotherapy finishes at the end of August but his parents want to get him the vaccine as soon as possible to stop the cancer returning.
The treatment is being trialled at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in Manhattan.
Ms Scott said: “The aim is that it protects the body and prevents cancer from returning because this cancer that he has has a high return rate.
“They say it’s a hard one to get rid of.”
The family needs the cash to pay for several rounds of treatment, accommodation and flights.
Ms Scott said: “For me as a parent I just want to get him on that plane.
“Sadly all those marathons and races that we have had in the pipeline have all been postponed because of the coronavirus.”
Their fundraiser can be accessed at their solvingkidscancer page.
A local footballer has stepped in to raise as much money as he can for Liam.
Former Dagenham and Redbridge player Charlie Holmes plans to run 140 miles – 10 miles a day for two weeks – to raise cash and his efforts are live-streamed on Instagram every day with DJs also getting involved to keep people entertained.
Holmes, 21, said: “I thought I would try and get as much money as I could for him.
“I have got a lot of support from all my friends and family.
“I just need that one person who has a large following (to share the story) and it would take off.”
Holmes’ fundraiser can be accessed through his justgiving page.