Boy, four, to get cancer vaccine in New York after £232,000 target reached

A four-year-old boy is set to travel to New York for a potentially life-saving cancer vaccine after his family raised a staggering £232,000.

The fundraising milestone was passed following a flurry of attention on Twitter and a £2,000 boost from Premier League star Pepe Reina.

Claire Scott, whose son Liam has been suffering with neuroblastoma, said everyone screamed and cried with joy when they realised they had hit their target.

She told the PA news agency about the final moments as they watched the fundraising progress on Friday: “It literally happened so quickly.

“We just kept on checking and it kept on moving up and up and up.

“And then I saw we had done it. We were crying, shouting, all in tears.”

Coronavirus – Mon May 4, 2020
Coronavirus – Mon May 4, 2020

Paw Patrol fanatic Liam has spent most of the last year undergoing gruelling treatment for his rare cancer, which affects around 100 UK children each year.

And while the end of his treatment is approaching, his family know there is a high chance the cancer could return.

So as soon as his immunotherapy treatment finishes at the end of August, parents Claire and Michael Scott are keen to get Liam to New York where he can receive an experimental vaccine which could prevent the cancer coming back.

The treatment will cost them £232,000, which has made the fundraising efforts all-important.

Mrs Scott said: “We are just so grateful to everyone who donated, retweeted, shared and supported us the whole way through.”

Liam Scott illness
Liam Scott illness

When Covid-19 lockdown hit, the family worried about how they would go about fundraising, given that events like the London Marathon were cancelled.

But help came in the form of local footballer Charlie Holmes and his family, who joined Team Liam and refused to stop until they hit the target.

Earlier this year, the former Dagenham and Redbridge player completed a gruelling 140 miles of running in 14 days, all streamed live on Instagram during lockdown.

Mr Holmes and Liam’s dad Michael will be kayaking across the Channel on Tuesday.

Hope it all goes well!!! God bless you all!! Strength and faith for the little one!!❤️💪🏻

— Pepe Reina (@PReina25) July 17, 2020

And as the fundraiser approached its £232,000 target it was given a boost by another footballer, this time by a World Cup winner.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina donated £2,000 to the cause, and wrote on the fundraising page: “Be strong little warrior!!”