A mum has made a heartbreaking appeal to get her three-year-old son lifesaving treatment after leukaemia left his black skin – mottled WHITE
J’ssiah Brown had been saved and beaten odds of million-to-one when his big brother donated bone marrow.
But their mother Jeanene Walters, 28, was handed a devastating blow when they learnt the leukaemia is back.
She is now desperate after a rare combination between chemotherapy treatment and liver failure had a side effect on her son’s skin.
J’ssiah’s once-black skin is now covered in blotchy white patches – that has left his mum even being accused of burning him.
British doctors say they can do nothing for it because J’ssiah has just four months to live – and NHS machines which could help won’t be ready for THREE YEARS.
The family, of Camberwell, south east London, is now trying to raise £150,000 to get J’ssiah state-of-the-art proton beam treatment in the USA, or Israel.
The treatment, that the parents of Ashya King say cured him of brain cancer, destroys cancer cells directly, leaving healthy tissue virtually untouched unlike in chemotherapy.
Single mum Jeanene said: “We’re fundraising like there’s no tomorrow.
“The school have done jeans for J’ssiah days, we’ve hosted fun days, runs, boxing matches, we’re selling T-shirts and putting posters up all around town.
“Our only hope is proton beam therapy and intravenous Vitamin C treatment. A consultation with a doctor in America alone costs #20,000.
“The therapy he could have abroad could kill off the cancer completely. We just have to get him there.
“J’ssiah’s mottled skin is a daily reminder what a brave little champ he is.
“All I want to do is cry but he’s not crying. If a tear trickles down my cheek, J’ssiah strokes my face and wipes away the tears.
“His strength gives me strength. I’m shouting out for help from everyone so J’ssiah can get the help he needs to live.”
J’ssiah was diagnosed with deadly acute myeloid leukaemia at the age of just one, in June 2013.
The treatment is not currently available in the UK so Jeanene says they have been left with no other option but to head to the USA.
Doctors announced that J’ssiah’s cancer had returned in March, when his mum noticed he became covered in bruises.
He was quickly put on a four-month course of chemotherapy but the cancer spread and doctors said his only chance was a bone marrow transplant.
His brother Kyerell and sister Ashiya, six, both jumped at the chance to save their little sibling’s life but Kyerell was found to be a perfect match.
The transplant, in April last year, was deemed a success until he started to reject the donor organ and had to be put in a medically induced coma at the Royal Marsden Hospital, in Sutton, Surrey.
J’ssiah was woken up after a month and doctors believed he had recovered.
But his skin had turned a mottled white and black because he suffered liver failure during the coma.
Mum-of-three Jeanene said: “His skin pigmented because his liver wasn’t functioning.
But it didn’t matter. He was alive and that was a miracle.
“I’ve had people come up to me and accuse me of mistreating him and even burning him.
“It’s heartbreaking, I would never hurt him and I would do anything in the world to save my beautiful little boy.”
For a while his life had been saved by his brother until this March when Jeanene noticed a tumour on his leg.
Full-time carer Jeanene said: “This time, they said there was nothing more they could do.
“J’ssiah had received too much chemotherapy in his short life and they feared he couldn’t take any more.”
The NHS is currently building two proton beam centres, one in Manchester and another in London, but these are not expected to be operational until 2018.
If patients are thought to be suitable for treatment, the NHS can pay for the treatment abroad.
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation is yet to respond to a request to comment.
As of Tuesday morning J’ssiah’s fund had topped £10,000, to donate to J’ssiah’s cause, please visit gofundme.com/qxwk4g