Newport family's bid to raise funds for 'fighter' Archie's cancer treatment

PUBLISHED: 09:31 06 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2019

Archie Wilks from Newport, with his twin brother. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archie Wilks from Newport, with his twin brother. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

The family of a three-year-old boy from Newport who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in January are hoping to raise £200,000 to pay for a life-saving vaccination treatment which is only available in America.

Archie Wilks from Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDArchie Wilks from Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archie Wilks is an identical twin and he has been diagnosed with stage four high-risk neuroblastoma - one of the rarest and hardest types of childhood cancers to cure.

In December last year, Archie became unwell and was unable to stand. After a few visits to A&E and various diagnoses, Archie was eventually kept in for extensive checks. His family knew it was serious when an ultrasound found a large mass around Archie's kidney.

On January 18, he was officially diagnosed with neuroblastoma and treatment began the next day.

He has two tumours around his kidneys and spine and the cancer has spread to various glands in his body, his skull, membrane and bone marrow, causing various lesions in the bones of his arms and legs, making mobility difficult and painful.

Archie Wilks from Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDArchie Wilks from Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The treatment is long and aggressive. Archie is currently finishing his first course of chemotherapy, which will be followed by surgery, radiotherapy, intensive chemotherapy in isolation and immunotherapy.

The treatment, if it progresses as planned, is expected to last up to 18 months.

“Archie is a fighter,” his family said. “He is an identical twin and suffered with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome while in the womb. His mum had life-saving laser surgery at 17 weeks inside her womb to allow Archie and his brother, Henry, to feed and grow.

“Archie and Henry spent their first six weeks in intensive care and Archie has been growing into a strong, caring boy with a cheeky smile since. Archie and Henry have been together from their first minutes and it's hard for them being apart while Archie is undergoing treatment, but they still always manage put a smile on each other's faces when they see each other.”

The family wants to raise enough funds to pay for a vaccination treatment available in the USA once treatment has been completed here in the UK. The vaccination should eliminate the chance of a relapse.

“We are aiming to give Archie the best possible chance of continuing to bring smiles to everyone's faces in the future,” Archie's family said.

More than £12,000 has been donated so far to the page set up by the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

You can donate online at www.justgiving.com/campaign/archiesjourney.

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