The Mighty Magnus Medicine Fund was started early in 2018 after Brixworth local boy, Magnus, had started treatment for a rare childhood cancer. The cancer, high risk neuroblastoma, had been diagnosed the previous December when he was only 5 years old. By the time the large tumour in his abdomen had been found it had spread to his bones and bone marrow and Magnus’ parents, Kate and Sandy, were told by the treating team at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, that Magnus had a 40-50% chance of beating it.
Due to the aggressive nature of the disease the treatment for high risk neuroblastoma consists of an arduous 18 months including 8 rounds of chemo, surgery, high dose chemotherapy and stem cell rescue, radiotherapy and finally immunotherapy. When the fundraising was started, Kate and Sandy were informed that the immunotherapy would not be provided on the NHS. Up until that point it had been provided through a trial, which had since ceased. It had been part of frontline treatment around the world for some time and thus it was crucial that Magnus received it. The cost to pay privately was projected at £150k. For this reason, the Fund was started.
Out of the nightmare that had started the prior December, Kate and Sandy were given some hope by their friends and local community because it was them that started the fundraising and have made it the success it has been. As treatment progressed through 2018 Magnus grew increasingly unwell. Most of that year was spent in hospital and thus Kate and Sandy will be ever thankful that during this time they were given the time to concentrate on Magnus and his big brother and not the fundraising.
Fortunately, the Immunotherapy was provided by the NHS and thus the decision was made to access a trial medication in New York provided by a world leading cancer centre. Neuroblastoma has a high relapse rate and once it returns there is only a 10% chance of clearing it again. For this reason, Kate and Sandy decided the vaccine trial available at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre would give Magnus his best chance of remaining neuroblastoma free forever. Neuroblastoma charity, Solving Kids Cancer, support families to access the trial and thus Kate and Sandy decided to join with them to have their help and knowledge through this complicated process. Solving Kids Cancer set a target of £225,000 to cover all associated costs of the trial and so the fundraising for this continues.
By December 2019 family, friends, and the local community have helped raise £170k. Their support has been immense, and Kate and Sandy are completely humbled by the kindness and generosity that has been shown to their family. With the support of Solving Kids Cancer, Magnus was able to start the treatment in New York in July and has had 3 trips out, 2 remaining to do in 2020.