A courageous seven-year-old boy will be flown to the US tomorrow for an intensive course of treatment to help him beat cancer.
Ilhan Ates-Suddes, of Barrowcliff, is battling a rare form of cancer, fibrosarcoma, in his neck and jaw which he was diagnosed with three years ago.
The intensive course of proton beam radiotherapy is not available in the UK and the family have to cross the Atlantic to Jacksonville, Florida, for the costly treatment.
They applied for funding from NHS England and received the £250,000 go-ahead to make sure Ilhan gets the treatment he needs.
Proton beam therapy hit the headlines in August 2014 when Ashya King, from Southsea in Hampshire, was taken by his parents from Southampton General Hospital without doctors’ consent, resulting in their arrest.
After undergoing the treatment in Prague, Ashya, now aged six, is said to be doing very well and attends school full-time.
Ilhan’s mum, Margaret Ates, said: “Ilhan’s tumour is situated in a really dangerous place which means normal radiotherapy isn’t advised due to damage to surrounding tissues - and further surgery isn’t an option either.”
The funding from the NHS covers the cost of Ilhan and two carers’ flights and accommodation. This means they have to pay for their living costs and most importantly to fly their daughter, Hazal, three, out with them.
Margaret added: “It’s something we have to do, the cost of her flight is between £750 to £1,250.
“People think it’s like going on holiday but it’s a medical trip. He has no choice - he has to get this treatment.
“The treatment normally takes six weeks. There are two weeks of scans and appointments before the radiotherapy starts Monday to Friday for six weeks and then a week of rest after the treatment.
“As the tumour is in such a dangerous place they have warned it may take nine weeks of radiotherapy.
“Hopefully the treatment will work. They think it will work - they wouldn’t fly him to America if they didn’t.”
The youngster has endured 29 rounds of chemotherapy and two major operations. At the end of last year, Ilhan had responded well to the treatment and was in remission.
But in March doctors discovered the cancer had returned.
She admits the course will be hard, but after watching her little boy battle cancer for three years, she said nothing can be worse than watching him go through radiotherapy.
To date more than £1,700 has been raised to support the family including £400 raised by the Trafalgar Men’s Social Club.
Landlord of the Trafalgar pub, Tony Burnard, said: “We would like to say thank you to everyone who donated. We hope other will do the same to help the family.”
Donations have been flooding in ranging from £5 to £100, including donations from families whose children have received proton beam therapy.
Last year, the Scarborough News supported an appeal to raise cash to take the youngster to Disneyland Paris to meet his heroes, including Mickey Mouse.
More than £4,000 was raised as the community came together to support Ilhan.
Unfortunately the money is still sat in Ilhan’s savings account as the family had hoped to go this month.
Margaret said: “We have that money as a back-up for living costs in America, but it would mean the world to him if we could take him to Paris.
“Any left over money fundraised will be donated back to the Candlelighters in Leeds as they have supported us so much through this journey.”
To donate to Ilhan’s fund visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Ilhansfight.