Boy with rare illness inspires charity concert
A special fund-raiser is being staged for a charity which has supported a boy with an extremely rare medical condition.
Claire Gibson, of Roxbro House B&B, in Warkworth, has organised the event in aid of CCLASP (Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Advice and Support for Parents).
The charity has helped nine-year-old George McIntosh and his family through a very difficult time.
George, who used to live in Berwick and is a former pupil of Holy Trinity First School, is now based near Chirnside, has battled a series of inoperable tumours in the central nervous system of his spine and brain.
The condition is known as disseminated oligondendrial leptomeningeal tumour. Only a few adults throughout the globe are known to have it, but George’s case is the first time that medical experts have seen it in a youngster.
Meanwhile, George’s older brother Archie, 11, was born with syndactyly – with two of his fingers fused together.
Claire said: “I have known George, his parents Julie and Ewan and his brother Archie for more than 11 years.
“One day, in 2014, aged five, George collapsed and was rushed to hospital.
“It took a team of international doctors 10 months to diagnose George’s condition correctly.
“He had a series of small tumours on his brain and spinal cord, and as such are inoperable and very rare.
“In June 2015, he began his chemotherapy journey. Over the past few years, George has stoically, and with great humour, undergone treatment and surgery on several occasions.
“The treatment seemed to halt the growth of the tumours, but a recent scan has shown the tumour on his spinal cord has grown, and so another 12-month period of chemo has been recommended.
“Over these past few years, the family have received amazing support from CCLASP. They have supplied hospital transport, days out and holidays for both boys, so it is a very worthy cause to support.”
To raise funds for the charity, Claire has organised a screening of Elaine Paige’s I’m Still Here concert, which was filmed at the Royal Albert Hall.
This 50th anniversary celebration features the BBC Concert Orchestra.
The concert will be shown at Warkworth Memorial Hall on Saturday, October 27, from 7.30pm. Doors open at 6.45pm.
Donations are payable on the door on the night. There will be a bar and a selection of bar snacks available.
Claire says that she has the backing and support of Elaine Paige herself, for which she is very grateful.