GoFundMe for 6-year-old Irish cancer patient
6-year-old Danny Norris was first diagnosed with high-risk stage 4 neuroblastoma in July 2020, forever changing his life and that of his family as their journey to childhood cancer began.
Since his diagnosis, Danny has endured months and months of treatment, and on one occasion his parents Lar and Lisa Norris feared the worst when his body began to die from an infection.
Fortunately, the treatment Danny received seems to be working, but has a high relapse rate of 60%. If Danny relapses, he can’t undergo the same treatment again and he has only a 10% chance of survival the second time around, which is a startling statistic for his family.
Danny’s parents are now hoping their son will have access to a bivalent vaccine trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital (MSK) in New York City next year. The vaccine aims to reduce the chances of Danny’s neuroblastoma coming back.
The new trial is actively accumulating and lasts for five years. If eligible, Danny would receive 14 shots of the vaccine: seven in the first year, four in the second year, and one in the third, four, and five years.
This state-of-the-art treatment is currently not available in Ireland and is not funded by health insurance or the HSE. The family appealed to the Ministry of Health for help in this matter.
The treatment costs a staggering 380,000 â¬ and the Norris family must raise the funds themselves over the next four months.
To help the Norris family access potentially life-saving treatment for Danny, a GoFundMe has been launched, which has so far reached less than a third of its goal of â¬ 380,000.
Lisa, Danny’s beloved mom, said: âSince the diagnosis, life has changed dramatically not just for Danny, but for us as a family.
âA typical day may involve blood pressure checks, medications, injections, blood tests and transfusions. Danny experienced pain and discomfort, along with all of the side effects typically associated with chemotherapy. , but he rarely complains.
âUnfortunately, due to Danny’s susceptibility to infections, there were times when almost all activity had to be based indoors. This was a big change as Danny is generally a very active little boy who enjoys playing outdoors, go for a walk, ride a bike, and bounce on the trampoline.
âDanny had to stay in isolation at Crumlin for almost nine weeks earlier this year. We were residents in the transplant unit for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Danny’s older brother, Shay, celebrated his 8th birthday at Ronald McDonald House, waving to his brother through the hospital window. “
Lisa notes how proud she and Lar are of their three adapted sons. âThe prolonged and unexpected periods of separation have been particularly difficult for the three boys and the high levels of uncertainty they now face on a daily basis have been a real adjustment for all of them.
âThe Covid pandemic has further complicated the situation for the boys because it means that when Danny is hospitalized there cannot be visits due to the current restrictions. “
Lisa adds, “As parents we strive daily to keep things as ‘normal’ as possible, but there is nothing normal or right about childhood cancer. It stole the boys. [Danny and his brothers Charlie, 10, and Shay, 8] of their previously carefree existence and made them members of an exclusive club, one that no one wants to join.
âThere have been times when we have wondered why us? But why not us? The reality is that anyone’s life can change in the blink of an eye.
âIt’s definitely not easy, or something we expected to happen to us, but it happened. The boys are great and we make sure there are lots of fun and happy times too. . “
Danny still has a tough battle ahead of him with several medical mountains to climb. You can support the Norris family and their journey to get treatment for young Danny here through GoFundMe or you can email [email protected].