CANCER tot Braiden Prescott is finally on his way to America – with a little help from a celebrity millionaire.
The Leigh three-year-old, who has gone to the States in a last-ditch bid to ward off an aggressive tumor called a neuroblastoma, had this week’s flight paid for by Sir Richard Branson.
It is the latest in a long series of acts of generosity afforded to the poorly youngster who needs more than £200,000 for his six months of immunotherapy treatment.
Kind-hearted fund-raisers have so far donated more than £104,000 to help send him on his way.
As the treatment costs £250,000, Neuroblastoma Alliance UK will subsidise the rest and Braiden’s parents, Wayne Prescott and Stephanie Reece, will continue fund-raising to pay the charity back.
After the initial consultation with specialist doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, he is expected to start treatment in the next day or so. Wayne, of Leigh, said: “It is brilliant. This is what we are building towards as we have been trying our best to get to this stage. We will spend six months in America as a family, bringing our younger son, Tyler with us.
“It will be hard, as no-one else will be around, but we will get through it. We are very grateful and appreciate everyone’s help in raising money – it has been so overwhelming.
“The staff at Royal Children’s Hospital in Manchester have been brilliant, giving advice and easing our minds to stop us panicking. Braiden is not doing too badly. He has completed his radiotherapy and feels a little groggy.”
Braiden’s grandad Paul Reece said: “The family is feeling really relaxed now that things are in place, but we are feeling lost without him. Now we know he is over there, we hope he will have a fighting chance of life.
“Neuroblastoma Alliance UK has been brilliant and done everything it can for Braiden. But we still have a long way to go to reach the target of £250,000 which we need to pay the charity back. I know it is Christmas and people are saving but we still need them to give.
“Everyone has been amazing. We really want to thank Paul Sergent, from Pennington, who contacted Richard Branson, who has agreed to pay for Braiden’s flights. Other companies have agreed to pay for transportation in America, so people have been really generous.”
Anyone wishing to help Braiden, who is supported by Neuroblastoma Alliance UK, can donate to the fund-raising appeal online, at www.justgiving.com/braiden-lee, or donate by text message by texting BRLE99 and an amount, for example £1, £2 £3 £4 £5 or £10 to 70070.