Philo is a bright, caring and happy 8-year-old boy who loves going to school, laughing with his friends, playing the piano and cuddling with his cat Nacho. Up until now, he’s been a perfectly healthy boy.
In September 2022, our world was turned upside down; when following a routine eye test with an optician, Philo was sent to the A&E, where doctors discovered an aggressive brain tumor, diagnosed as a Pediatric High-Grade Glioma - Grade 4.
Philo was immediately taken for emergency surgery to try and remove the mass, which took over 12 hours, followed by two additional surgeries spending over 35+ hours on the operating table.
Since initially being admitted, we have spent over 45 days in the hospital, and despite the context, he has shown nothing but positivity, bravery and courage and gives us the strength to get through each day.
Novel therapeutic treatments could save Philo’s life
With the aggressiveness of this brain tumor and the poor prognosis, the “Standard of Care” treatment of radiation and chemotherapy he is undergoing can only prolong Philo’s life by months.
We have been in touch with doctors from around the world who are working to further the opportunities for treatment in this field, and they agree that Philo’s best chance of survival would be to access novel therapeutic treatments. However, these treatments are currently only available in Germany and the U.S. They are also extremely expensive.
Today, we will need all the support we can get to cover the costs related to Philo’s life-saving care.
How will your donations be used?
To begin with, we’ve commissioned special molecular/genetic tests to be done on his tumor which should be completed by Christmas. These tests alone cost over £10,000 and will provide a roadmap of what the best next options are.
The results of these tests will help doctors in Germany develop a vaccine customized to Philo’s tumor, which will train his immune system to fight against the tumor. The costs for this can be over £150K.
Additionally, there are promising potential pathways that can be addressed with Clinical Trials currently underway in the US. The results of our tests can confirm his eligibility for these trials. Another surgery to remove the remainder of the tumor will also likely need to be done. Lastly, as the tumour has impacted his vision, he will need vision therapy. Initial guidance estimates the cost of all this is over £350K.
Any additional funds collected will be donated to brain tumor research, as they desperately need more support. Although brain tumors are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, less than 1% of the research money spent on cancer goes to brain tumors, and because they are so rare (25% of childhood cancers), childhood tumors are at the bottom of the list. Sadly, in the past 30 years, there has been little progress in this field other than the Standard of Care (SOC).
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who has offered support and to the dedicated and caring doctors, nurses and staff who have helped Philo. Together we can get him better and provide hope for other children who face this terrible disease.
To know more about Philo’s story and our family:
Fundraising team (2)
This team raised £252,631 from 1797 other donations.