Peter Berriman will take part in experimental clinical trials in the US to push back his cancer growth as well as stopping anything else growing.
The community has rallied around the 11-year-old, from Chinley, raising £110,000 of the £152,000 he needs to complete his course and as Peter’s tumours have shrunk in recent months he is now well enough to take part in the trials.
Peter and his parents left for the United States on Wednesday morning, and he will spend a week over there starting his two-year trial.
Mum Mandy Berriman said: “I can’t quite believe we are actually going and it’s only thanks to the generosity of everyone who has got behind Peter's campaign that we are able to go."
Peter was first diagnosed with intermediate risk neuroblastoma in January 2019. His tumour caused a spinal cord injury which left him with no movement or sensation in his lower body.
He completed his treatment in February 2020 but in August 2020, Peter’s cancer relapsed, this time as metastatic high risk neuroblastoma.
However scans just before Christmas showed things have improved further since the last scans – the tumour is smaller and showing signs of dying off and the pelvis disease is less visible meaning he is well enough for the trials.
Mandy said: “We found out just after the new year that we could go and since then it has been a bit of a whirlwind.
”We’ve all been isolating to ensure we don't catch Covid and we can actually get on the flight and get Peter’s treatment.
"We were worried as it's been such a long time since his last treatment we didn’t know if it would have grown but it hasn’t which is a relief.”
Peter is being supported by charity Solving Kids Cancer which has organised all the flights and accommodation at short notice.
Mandy said: “This trial will stop cancer growth which will mean his relapse rate is lower which is important because every time he relapses it becomes more difficult to treat. It is also designed to stop anything else growing too.”
The trial is pay as you go so although the family think they will need another £42,000 to cover the drugs and travel expenses, they will be able to continue the fundraising over the next two years.
Mandy added: “I’m still nervous and I think I’ll only start relaxing when Peter has had his first dose of tablets.
“We are all so incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped and supported us so far. Getting Peter on this trial really does mean the world to us.”
Donate online at solvingkidscancer.org.uk/appeal/peter or text “PETERB” followed by any whole amount up to £20 to 70085.