THE charity set up in memory of Skye Hall has raised enough money to pay for four years of research into childhood brain cancers.

Five-year-old Skye, from Abingdon, died last August after battling a brain tumour for a year, but passed away from radio-chemo neurotoxicity.

It meant healthy cells in his brain and spinal cord were damaged by a regime of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

His parents, Andy and Sally, set up the charity Blue Skye Thinking to help research into alternative cancer treatments for children.

Less than a year later, they have reached their goal of £120,000, enough to fund a four-year PhD research postn at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.

Based at Newcastle University, the researcher will work on finding new treatments for childhood brain tumours.

Mrs Hall said: “At the start, £120,000 was beyond what we thought might be possible in the first year. It is because of the overwhelming support and determination of so many people to help us achieve the target, that it has become a reality.

“It’s heartening that so many people are now choosing us as their charity to support and that commercial organisations are also getting on board and raising valuable funds for tangible outcomes.”

Also mum to three-year-old Jesse, she said: “The majority of drugs currently used to treat children were developed for adults and have been adapted for children, which is not acceptable, and Skye’s death due to treatment toxicity highlights this.

“Advances have been made to identify pathways at a molecular level in the hope that new treatments will eventually ‘do away’ with outdated chemo- and radiotherapies.

“Now is a crucial time for funding new research so that current findings can be converted into frontline treatment.

The money raised will have a very significant impact on this, and we can get that one step closer to unlocking the science behind this devastating disease and one step closer to a cure.”

Mr Hall, head of sport at Abingdon School, said: “The last year has been such an emotional roller-coaster for our family from Skye’s death last August to now. By reaching this first goal, something positive has emerged from such an awful situation.

“This is just the beginning for us, there is still such a long way to go.”

Blue Skye Thinking now wants to raise £200,000 to fund a post-doctoral researcher for three years.

Mr Hall added: “In the past four months, three other children that we got to know on the ward at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford have died after brain tumours.

“It reiterates the desperate need for better treatment protocols, and the way they are monitored.”

The couple will now work with the institute to advertise the new research position, which will start on September 1.

Prof Steve Clifford, childhood brain tumour research team leader, said: “We are inspired by Skye’s story and the fundraising efforts of Blue Skye Thinking.”