Middlesbrough FC physio’s rowing challenge to raise funds for youngster’s cancer battle

MIDDLESBROUGH Football Club’s head physio is rowing the distance from his Teesside home to Crewe in a bid to raise vital funds for a charity close to his heart.

Chris is rowing 8k a day throughout this month – the 240km distance between his home and that of his nephew Georgy, who is suffering from a rare form of bone cancer.

Chris has already passed the £4,000 mark, but is hoping to increase that amount to help fund pioneering treatment for his nephew.

His sister, Georgy’s mum Helen, explained how a trip to A&E resulted in the devastating news of the youngster’s diagnosis.

She said: “On Easter Sunday 2018 our Georgy, aged just eight, fell over in a friend’s back garden and after taking him to A&E we were given the devastating news that he had a highly malignant and very rare bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma.

“The following 12-months passed in a whirlwind of hospital stays where he had high dose of aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“He was unable to eat and lost a lot of weight.

“As a result of this treatment, the majority of his right arm was taken away and replaced with a titanium prosthesis.

“Georgy went into remission in March 2019 and life started to become normal-ish again.

“Georgy went back to school and we started to see our gorgeous boy become the funny and happy person that he’s always been.

“In April we were dealt the devastating blow that the cancer had returned but this time in his left sinus, just under his eye socket and in the back of his nose.

“Scans showed that this horrible and aggressive cancer had already destroyed some of his cheekbone and was growing into the base of his skull.

“Georgy was rushed back into hospital to start preparations for his treatment whilst we waited to hear if he would have a stroke or lose his eyesight immediately.

“Luckily, our brave boy came out as strong as he went in.”

The family is now exploring alternative treatments and needs to raise £240,000 to send him to Asia for a pioneering stem cell transplant.

This will involve removing the faulty mother cell and harvesting new purified cells from a donated umbilical cord into his body to stop the cancer from returning.

These procedures have very high success rates. Helen thanked the ‘absolutely amazing’ NHS and said she understood why it could not fund the treatment.

The Northern Echo | Teesside