Plymouth people help raise thousands for a three-year-old boy with cancer
THE people of Plymouth have so far helped raise £8,500 towards the £500,000 needed to save the life of a three-year-old local boy – and in just one week.
Henry Hallam, from Stoke, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a very aggressive type of childhood cancer, last September.
His parents Elsbeth and Michael were told it was unlikely their little "superhero" would be allowed home to Plymouth from Bristol Children's Hospital until October.
But a brief gap in his intensive treatment has allowed him to come home for a few days – the first time in six months.
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"We are so happy to be home, even if it is just for five days," said Elsbeth.
"As a family it is providing a much needed respite and Henry is full of his usual cheekiness again."
Last Wednesday Elsbeth and Michael made a heartfelt plea to the city to help them raise half a million pounds to enable them to take their little boy to the United States for groundbreaking specialist treatment which could save his life.
And since the story was published Henry's parents have received over £8,500 in donations.
Twenty-nine-year-old Elsbeth, an emergency nurse at Derriford Hospital, said: "The response we have had has given us hope. But we have got to keep going and can't let people forget about our little Henry. We want to get to £10,000 by Easter.
"If we don't raise this money Henry could die, it's that simple."
Elsbeth said the support they have received since Henry's story was published has been overwhelming.
She said: "We have had amazing support from all over the country, especially Plymouth. It may be a fairly small city, but it's a great city and the amount of support we have received has been very touching. It really does help so much."
Elsbeth said a number of charity fundraising events for Henry have already taken place, with lots more to come in the next few months.
"A bucket collection in Tavistock recently raised £427, and we hope to do this in Plymouth soon too. We have some amazing events planned," said Elsbeth.
"An Easter Fun Day will take place in Yelverton at St Paul's Church Hall on Saturday March 30 where there will be an Easter egg hunt, stalls and games; a bag pack has been organised to take place at Morrisons in Tavistock on March 16 from 10am; Derriford Health and Leisure Centre and hosting a Race Night on May 18 from 7pm; a number of people have offered to run the Plymouth Half Marathon for Henry next month; many local schools have agreed to take part in a 'Wear Purple for Neuroblastoma' day on April 26; Tom Daley and Tonia Couch have signed trunks and a swimsuit for us to auction off, and a big rugby match has been planned to take place on the Plymouth Argaum RFC grounds in Roborough on May 4," said Elsbeth."It's amazing!"
Gary Streeter, conservative MP for South West Devon, has also agreed to help the family, Elsbeth said.
"He told us he is going to try and get some of the big businesses to provide sponsorship," she said. "We are just overwhelmed by how many people have been touched by Henry's story and how many people are offering to help."
A meeting is being held at the Future Inn, on William Prance Road, at 7pm tonight and is open to anyone who wants to know what they can do to help raise money for little Henry.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/HenryHallamAppeal.
You can also donate to his appeal by texting HUGS80, along with an amount between £1 and £10, to 70070.