‘Heartbreak’ as young cancer battler’s tumours return after initial all clear

Bradley Lowery has battled neuroblastoma.
Bradley Lowery has battled neuroblastoma.
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A schoolboy is awaiting further tests to establish the extent of the cancer which has returned after first winning his fight against the disease.

Five-year-old Bradley Lowery was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the start of 2013, but was declared free of the illness in 2014.

Bradley with mum and dad Gemma and Carl.

Bradley with mum and dad Gemma and Carl.

Now his Blackhall family are facing raising £700,000 for treatment in America which could see him given antibody therapy and drugs to prevent it returning again or a type of chemotherapy not available here.

Additional funds will be needed to cover the cost of travel and accommodation.

A regular scan picked up a 4.5cm by 1.5cm tumour in the right side of his rib cage, as well as a few suspicious nodes in his right lung.

Doctors say it could be a relapse of his neuroblastoma - a cancer of nerve cells involved in the development of the nervous system and other tissues - or a different form of cancer, with a small chance it could be benign.

We always knew he could relapse, but now we need to wait for the outcome of the tests.

Gemma Lowery

The Blackhall Primary School pupil has already undergone a biopsy, but is due to under go more tests and scans next week.

Mum Gemma said the news of the tumours was “heartbreaking” and said it was hard to take because he has seemed so well after 18 months of normality following his intense treatment.

Gemma, who is married to Carl, both 33, who are also parents to Kieran, 14, added: “He’s really good in himself, he’s still going to school and although he has some pain, we can control that through medication.

“We are trying to carry on as normally as possible, but will be at the hospital from Monday.

Bradley Lowery in his Sunderland top

Bradley Lowery in his Sunderland top

“We always knew he could relapse, but now we need to wait for the outcome of the tests.”

She has sounded a rallying call for supporters to start raising cash again to add to the £261,000 already raised in preparation for the treatment since he was first diagnosed.

Gemma added: “Before, we expected to need £500,000, but now it’s looking like at least £700,000.

“We’ll have to wait to find out whether he might be given antibody therapy and help to prevent it coming back or if it progresses differently, he might have another type of chemotherapy.

Bradley Lowery, pictured while he was being treated for cancer.

Bradley Lowery, pictured while he was being treated for cancer.

“He’ll have a trial of the treatment here first.”

Gemma has issued a plea through the Facebook group Bradley Lowery’s Fight Against Neuroblastoma: “Please please do everything you can to fundraise for my little super star.”

Details of how to donate and information on events being held to back the appeal can be found via the page.

Bradley Lowery, pictured in his latest school picture from Blackhall Primary.

Bradley Lowery, pictured in his latest school picture from Blackhall Primary.

Bradley Lowery as he was treated for cancer when he was first diagnosed.

Bradley Lowery as he was treated for cancer when he was first diagnosed.