Liam Andrew's family overwhelmed by support for £500,000 appeal
The family of five-year-old Liam Andrew, who has been diagnosed with a rare incurable and inoperable brain tumour, say they have been overwhelmed by the support and response from the public.
A £½m appeal has been launched to help Liam, who has a cancerous tumour — Diffuse Instrinsic Pontine Glomas (DIPG).
According to the family’s online Justgiving page, the appeal has so far reached £11,396 with money pledged by 436 supporters.
Liam’s aunt, Tracy Ferguson, said Liam’s parents, Stuart and Amanda, of Beacon Heights, Newark, had been overwhelmed by the response.
Tracy said it was wonderful that so many people were wanting to help by holding events or giving donations.
Collecting tins are in many town-centre shops.
"I think they have wanted to help when they see it is a local boy and how desperate we are to raise the money to make a difference and extend his life," Tracy said.
Events already planned range from head shaves to a black tie ball, which will take place in July.
Forty volunteers have been found to help with a bagpack in the town’s branch of Morrisons on June 9.
Liam is due to start radiotherapy at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, next week.
The hospital sees only one child a year with a DIPG.
The tumour cannot be removed by surgery because of where it is.
The family are looking at alternative therapies and options that may help and have seen stories of families travelling to Mexico, the United States and Germany for treatment.
Liam’s cousin, Mrs Laura Fearnley, of Fernwood, who has set up the Justgiving page with Tracy (her mother) said most of the specialist trials and treatments they had seen cost about £350,000.
Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/crowd funding/love4liam
People are being asked to wear something yellow for a #love4Liam fun day fundraiser at Flowserve Sports and Social Club, Balderton, on June 17.
The event has been organised by close friends of Liam’s parents, Stuart and Amanda — Hazel Cameron, of Kilvington, her daughter-in-law, Racheal Cameron, and her daughter, Casey Cameron, 20, both of Newark, with the help of others, including Nathan Hyde, Stuart’s business partner.
They said as soon as they heard about Liam’s brain tumour they were determined to do everything they could to help.
"They are the most genuine family you will ever come across. They are absolutely lovely," Casey said.
Racheal suggested the fun day — an idea that has received the full backing of family and friends.
Casey has been helping to get the message out through social media and designed an eye-catching poster.
Racheal and Hazel have been visiting shops and businesses asking for help.
Liam is a big fan of the Minion characters so they feel it would be lovely if everyone wore yellow.
They are hoping he will be well enough to attend.
The venue has been given free of charge along with the use of a barbecue and gazebos.
"They have been brilliant," Hazel said.
Local butchers have donated sausages and burgers and it is hoped to get 400 bread rolls donated.
Attractions already include the fire service, police, ponies, inflatables, football, a DJ and a singer.
There will be face-painting, a cake stall, ice-cream van, and stocks.
Special keyrings are being made. There will also be a raffle, tombola, stalls and an auction with lots including a piece of bespoke furniture made by Hazel’s son, Jason.
The auctioneer will be her son, Wayne.
"The response has been unbelievable," said Racheal.
"Everyone is pulling together."
Tombola, raffle prizes and auction lots are still needed. Anyone who can help should contact Racheal on 07784 674619.
The event is from noon until 5pm. Entry for adults is £5 and free for children.