Hull boy's 300k cancer fight appeal hits the halfway mark
A £300,000 appeal to cover the cost of a little boy's potentially life-saving cancer treatment has hit the halfway mark.
Charlie Hook, six, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer, on his fifth birthday in January last year.
Although he underwent successful treatment in Leeds, he still faces an 80 per cent chance of relapse.
Charlie's family launched the Charlie Hook Appeal in July last year to take him to the US for treatment if he relapses.
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Now, the appeal has reached £153,625 and Charlie's mother, Nicola, 33, said the relief is immeasurable.
She said: "I'm over the moon. It's amazing.
"It's such a huge weight off my shoulders knowing we are over halfway there and a huge chunk of money is available if Charlie needs it.
"It means we are able to secure some treatment with that amount if we need to.
"It won't pay for all of it but we could show doctors abroad we have money available and pay deposits."
After a year of treatment and extensive tests, doctors confirmed Charlie's treatment had been successful in February.
Charlie, of west Hull, is progressing well and has regular check-ups and tests in Leeds.
He is due to undergo major scans and further tests in January.
Nicola, who also has two other children, Molly, five, and Archie, 20 months, said she has been overwhelmed by the support for the appeal.
"Most of this money has been raised by complete and utter strangers whom I have never met," she said.
"It's overwhelming people are prepared to do that for Charlie and our family.
"We couldn't have done it without them and this wouldn't have happened without people's generosity and kindness."
Nicola said the pressure is now on to push towards the £300,000 target and she will not rest until it is raised.
"It's got to be there ready," she said. "It's a fantastic lump sum to start treatment if Charlie needs it. But it's not enough to pay any balance.
"We have to keep going and I will keep going for as long as it takes to get to the £300,000. I'm absolutely determined."
Nicola said she is now looking forward to Christmas with her family and Charlie is already writing his wish list for Father Christmas.
But she said the best gift of all is knowing some of the money is ready if Charlie needs it.
"Passing the halfway mark is the best Christmas present," she said.
"All I want is some security knowing, should the worst happen, we are well on our way to putting plans into action."
Individuals, schools and businesses have raised money for the appeal.
Russ Kemp, 33, of west Hull, is planning to run from Hallam FM in Sheffield to Viking FM in Hull on Sunday, covering 63 miles for the cause.
He has so far raised about £8,000 for the appeal through sponsored events. To sponsor him, visit www.justgiving. com/challengeruss2012