Wiltshire Publications

‘Our superhero’s scans are clear!’ Alexander gets the all clear

Alexander has received the all-clear from doctors

Alexander has received the all-clear from doctors

Four months after having proton beam therapy in the USA for an aggressive brain tumour, Westbury toddler Alexander Vinson has defied the odds and been given the all-clear by doctors.

Three year-old Alexander was diagnosed with  a rare brain tumour in July last year and was given only a 10% chance of survival using conventional treatments.

Soon afterwards,  his friends and family set about raising the £150,000 needed to send him to the USA for the potentially life-saving proton beam therapy unavailable on the NHS.

White Horse News reported the family’s mammoth challenge but Alexander’s story quickly spread across the country with national TV and newspapers picking up on the story and donations began pouring in. His story captured the hearts of the nation and  over £100,000 was raised in just one month.

With support from charity Kids ‘n’ Cancer, Alexander was flown to Oklahoma in December to receive the treatment. Mum Raluca said, “We are over the moon with the news and feel very relieved. It’s been a long journey and we’ve fought so hard. For now we can relax and enjoy life. We can look differently at the future now and take each day as it comes.

“Alexander is still a cheeky little monkey, as he’s always been throughout this process. Everyone says that children are resilient and Alexander has  definitely proved this. He has been brilliant and nothing has fazed him.

“He is lacking energy and he needs to build his strength back up but that’s understandable with the amount of drugs he’s had, but he’s still such a happy little boy.

“He will continue to have check ups. To start they will be every three months and then every six months and then every year, but for now we are relaxed and  hopeful.

“We are so grateful for all the support we have been given in the last 10 months since we found out about the brain tumour. We love everyone so much for what they have done for us. It means so much to have the support of the community; we couldn’t have done it with you all.”

Alexander was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumour (AT/RT) last year, and underwent hours of exhausting brain surgery and chemotherapy.

AT/RT is an aggressive cancer which usually affects young children and has a poor survival rate. Alexander travelled to a hospital in the US for proton beam therapy, a highly targeted form of radiotherapy which tries to reduce damaging surrounding tissue.

The therapy was not available to him via the NHS, and the family had to raise around £150,000 to afford the trip and treatment.

Family friend Lilly Bale said, “The support since Alexander was diagnosed has been amazing. I have been close friends with the family since I moved to Westbury and it was absolutely devastating when we found out Alexander had cancer.

“The fundraising started off as a small fund to help Phil and Raluca travel to and from Southampton hospital, then into a much bigger £150,000 so they could go to America.

“Everyone  was so positive and always believed that the money would be raised. People’s generosity was completely overwhelming and it was so emotional for the family and everyone around them.

“It was a real community effort and so many people were touched by the story and gave as much or as little as they could. Alexander looks so well now and can get back to being the little boy he is supposed to be; it’s the result everyone was hoping for.”