William’s fund is seeking to raise £1million to fund research into the diagnosis and treatment of children’s cancer. It was established in memory of Johanna’s son, William who lost his battle against cancer in late 2000, a few months before his fifth birthday.
Johanna gave an outline of her son’s diagnosis and treatment. She emphasised that children’s cancers are different from adult cancers and that conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not work. As a result, survival rates are under 50%. Unfortunately, the major cancer charities spend very little on research into children’s cancers and, therefore, the fund has established its own researchers in Oxford working within the Oxford University, John Radcliffe Hospital group.
The fund has no employees with the administration being done by the family which also covers the costs. It receives no help from the major cancer charities but has managed to raise £800,000 to date from various fundraising activities.
This was an inspiring story of a brave little boy who remained cheerful throughout his various treatments and of his parents’ efforts to improve the treatment of childhood cancers.