Overton boy with terminal cancer given India treatment hope

India could be the next step for potentially life-saving treatment for a boy with terminal brain cancer.

Monday, 23rd April 2018, 4:24 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd April 2018, 5:56 pm
Reece Holt, from Overton, pictured in his Lancaster Royal Grammar School uniform.

The family of Reece Holt are looking at the South Asian destination as an option for future care.

Reece, from Overton, announced his brain cancer was terminal on his Facebook charity page, Team Reece in February.

Since then mum, Rachel O’Neil and family have been working to find ways to control the 12-year-old’s seizures which have been occurring almost daily.

Rachel O'Neil and son Reece Holt.

“India has given me some hope but I’m also realistic and know there is no magic bullet and it’s not a cure if it works, it’s more of a long term management plan to keep the cancer at bay,” said Rachel.

Rachel heard about the India treatment from friend, Tom Maxwell.

The Denvax treatment is dendritic cell based cancer immunotherapy for solid cancers in various stages of the disease.

It targets only the cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

Rachel O'Neil and son Reece Holt.

“Tom has got a friend, Steve Wright who has a brain tumour which is more aggressive than Reece’s,” said Rachel.

“Nothing was working, he went to India for the treatment in January 2017 and now he is in remission.”

Reece has a rare form of brain cancer which is terminal.

For nearly two years he has battled Anaplastic Astrocytoma, a malignant tumour that affects only about 10 children a year.

Rachel will be involved in a Skype call with doctors in India this week to discuss the treatment.

She is also due to meet with oncologists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, where Reece has received treatment.

“We won’t decide anything yet until Reece has had his scan on May 22, then we will make a decision,” said Rachel.

Reece returned to Lancaster Royal Grammar School last week after his seizures reduced.

“The school have been amazing, they put everything in place for Reece’s return, I can’t fault them,” said Rachel.

Following the terminal diagnosis, Reece and Rachel are continuing to work hard for their charity, Team Reece.

The charity helps to help children with cancer and their families as well as helping to provide funding for vital research for brain cancer in children.

Reece and Rachel are also hoping to purchase a caravan at Lakeland Heaven as part of their Team Reece mission, to give children with cancer and their families a chance for a holiday.

Meanwhile, Graham Fisher’s It’s A Knockout takes place at the Trimpell Sports and Social Club in aid of Team Reece on May 12 from 10am.

As well as the family-fun obstacle course in aid of charity, the event will also host a free funfair, stalls, games and live music which will include performances from X Factor star Paul Akister and DJ Matt Thiss.

From 10.30am the grounds will play host to the inflatable assault course, which will see teams take part in various games and challenges through water and around the obstacles.

If you wish to take part in It’s A Knockout then contact Team Reece on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/teamreeceholt/.