Skye's family want better brain cancer treatment

Skye Hall with some of the loom bands he has received

Skye Hall with some of the loom bands he has received

First published in News

Parents of a toddler who may have just weeks to live have criticised the lack of research into brain cancer in children.

Andy and Sally Hall, from Abingdon, have set up the charity Blue Skye Thinking in honour of their five-year-old son Skye, who has been battling a brain tumour for a year.

But tragically, the treatment that has helped control the cancer has made Skye sicker than ever. In May he was diagnosed with radionecrosis, where healthy cells in his brain and spinal cord have been damaged by radiation.

Mr Hall, 42, said: “His disease is stable, but it is the side effects of the treatment which are killing him.”

Along with Mrs Hall, 36, he hopes to raise funds for research into less toxic treatments.

Mr Hall, a teacher at Abingdon School, said: “Skye is clearly our primary focus, but what is also of importance to us is that other children afflicted by this horrible disease have access to treatment which is less cruel and less debilitating in nature.”

The charity’s first action is the Loom to the Moon appeal, to try to make the world’s longest loom band – where elastic bands are twisted together to form a chain.

It has more than 9,600 likes on Facebook, and the family have already received more than 6,500 metres of loom band.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

Video: Campaigners gather in East Oxford to call for independent inquiry into Operation Bullfinch

Oxford Mail:

7:03pm Monday 30th March 2015

PROTESTERS gathered in the pouring rain at a vigil in East Oxford to voice calls for an independent inquiry into Operation Bullfinch.

Woman pushed to ground as bag snatched in Faringdon

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:03pm Monday 30th March 2015

A 34-year-old woman was pushed to the ground and had her bag taken from her in Faringdon.

Residents asked for just a Little-more for parish

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Monday 30th March 2015

AN EXTRA 59p a week council tax in Littlemore could pay for a dedicated community worker, it has been claimed.

Banbury charity prepares puppies to help disabled

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Monday 30th March 2015

THESE adorable pups couldn’t have more fun as they bonded with each other as they embark on their journey to help those in need.

‘Plans to scrap subsidies could spark city leisure centre price hike’

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Monday 30th March 2015

LEISURE centre prices could go up in the city if plans to scrap subsidies go ahead, a council watchdog committee fears.

Weather alert: High winds feared for this evening and Tuesday

Oxford Mail: Snow set for Gloucestershire as Met Office issues severe weather warning

4:04pm Monday 30th March 2015

OXFORDSHIRE has been put under a yellow weather warning for high winds this evening and tomorrow.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:22am Sat 23 Aug 14

Man on the Green says...

If the UK had had any "charged particle" facilities (as France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US all do), CPT could have been tried on Skye, as it is particularly suited where the risks of damage to surrounding tissue are greatest, and has been recognised as especially indicated in children and young people who are much more likely to suffer from radiation damage, both short term, and in the longer run because it is designed to "deposit" the radiation dose almost exclusively in the tumour itself, rather than on the trajectory to and beyond the site as well.

One wonders too whether consideration was given by Skye's doctors to referring him to one of the European charged particle centres, under the reciprocal agreements in place with other EU countries.

Mr Hall is quite right to be calling for more research into brain cancer. Much more needs to be done to bring the UK up to even European averages in terms of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival rates. We should be asking why it is that the UK, despite the vast sums we pump into the NHS, and the extraordinary efforts of charity supported research, should have such comparatively poor cancer survival rates. We may need to stop and refocus some of our priorities.

I can only congratulate Skye's parents on their dignity and dedication to making Skye's remaining life as rich and enjoyable as they can, and also for their determination to see that lessons are learnt for the future. That takes real courage and altruism, and I admire them hugely for it. Their efforts will also undoubtedly help Skye through his illness, give him a sense of achievement and personal excitement as he sees what is being done in his name, and out of love and support for him, and perhaps too some comfort in the bleaker moments (for both him and his parents), especially if future treatment options are improved as a result of their campaigning. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

(I should perhaps add that I have no vested interest in CPT, and have no personal agenda in this field.)
If the UK had had any "charged particle" facilities (as France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US all do), CPT could have been tried on Skye, as it is particularly suited where the risks of damage to surrounding tissue are greatest, and has been recognised as especially indicated in children and young people who are much more likely to suffer from radiation damage, both short term, and in the longer run because it is designed to "deposit" the radiation dose almost exclusively in the tumour itself, rather than on the trajectory to and beyond the site as well. One wonders too whether consideration was given by Skye's doctors to referring him to one of the European charged particle centres, under the reciprocal agreements in place with other EU countries. Mr Hall is quite right to be calling for more research into brain cancer. Much more needs to be done to bring the UK up to even European averages in terms of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival rates. We should be asking why it is that the UK, despite the vast sums we pump into the NHS, and the extraordinary efforts of charity supported research, should have such comparatively poor cancer survival rates. We may need to stop and refocus some of our priorities. I can only congratulate Skye's parents on their dignity and dedication to making Skye's remaining life as rich and enjoyable as they can, and also for their determination to see that lessons are learnt for the future. That takes real courage and altruism, and I admire them hugely for it. Their efforts will also undoubtedly help Skye through his illness, give him a sense of achievement and personal excitement as he sees what is being done in his name, and out of love and support for him, and perhaps too some comfort in the bleaker moments (for both him and his parents), especially if future treatment options are improved as a result of their campaigning. They are in my thoughts and prayers. (I should perhaps add that I have no vested interest in CPT, and have no personal agenda in this field.) Man on the Green
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree