Amy Ramsey has described how “the walls closed in” on her when she found out her precious four-year-old son Dillan had relapsed with cancer for the third time.
Dillan was diagnosed with leukaemia aged one and was initially given a 93% cure rate but after three years of intense treatment, his family were told it had reappeared once again in August.
Doctors added there were zero options for treatment in the UK and the only hope was an experimental trial in the United States.
Amy, from Salford, told Yahoo News UK: “It’s taken a huge toll on us and has been a real shock, after the third relapse the walls close in on you, especially as the hospital treatment options get smaller each time.
“We have also asked the hospital not to apologise to us anymore, as sympathy seems so final.
“We don’t want to know the prognosis percentage anymore as we know the chances are small, so what difference will it make? It would only make us more sad.
“Every treatment was a trial at one stage so we remain hopeful this is the missing piece of the puzzle.”
The family are funding the treatment themselves and have so far raised more than £500,000 from a target of £1 million. Click here to donate.
Amy, her mum, Dillan and his two siblings will fly to Washington for his treatment as part of a trial after doctors gave the family the go-ahead on Friday following a series of tests.
Dillan was initially given a promising outlook for treatment, but after two years, he relapsed in August 2022 and then again in March and August this year.
He had received a bone marrow transplant last Christmas and Car T cell therapy in May in the hopes it would make him better, but the family were given the devastating news last month his latest treatment hadn't worked and there was little chance of a cure.
Amy, who has documented the family’s journey online, added: “We have had to organise the entire family moving to America in three weeks, as it’s a rare situation it’s been really difficult logistically and communication-wise.
“We have been dealing with this for 3 and a half years and don’t know any different, which is sad but we have been cancer parents longer than we have been non-cancer parents.
“I hope our journey can help other families on a similar path as navigating through it is very hard.”
Dillan will have a central line inserted into his groin and the cell harvest sorter will then separate his T cells from the blood it extracts before putting the rest back into him.
Mum-of-three Amy added: “The T cells then get trained in a lab to kill a leukaemia receptor called CD22, after they have trained them, they put them back into Dillan and the cells start to hunt the leukaemia and kill it.
“He will then have a second transplant back at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“We arrive tomorrow at midnight and are being picked up to go to the hospital at 7am Monday to start everything. The family will be split up again for 6 weeks.”
Amy said Dillan would love to start school and be able to have a normal childhood for the first time since he was diagnosed.
“Dillan should not have to go through this, he is the most precious, kind, amazing little boy with the funniest character”, she wrote on the GoFundMe appeal.
“I can’t bear the thought of losing him, we need as much help financially as we can get.”
The fundraiser raised almost £300,000 in the opening days it was launched, with £20,000 donated by Man City defender John Stones’s girlfriend Olivia Naylor.
Stones had previously supported an event to test people at City’s Etihad Stadium to find a bone marrow match for Dillan.
Celebrity supporters also include actresses Michelle Keegan, Brooke Vincent and Cath Tyldesley.
The total of the fundraiser now sits at more than £500,000 with a target of £1 million.