Readers are eager to help Skye’s wishes come true

Skye Hall looks into the eyes of his mum Sally as they create loom bands as part of a challenge which has already generated 3,000 likes on Facebook

Skye Hall looks into the eyes of his mum Sally as they create loom bands as part of a challenge which has already generated 3,000 likes on Facebook

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

THE family of youngster Skye Hall have been inundated with calls since their appeal in the Oxford Mail to help the dying youngster’s wishes come true.

Five-year-old Skye from Abingdon has been battling with a brain tumour for a year and has been working to complete a bucket list of fun activities before he dies.

All that is left on the list is for Skye to go swimming in a private hydrotherapy pool and to pull a prank where Skye would sit in a fake ice-cream dispenser and surprise people by plonking ice cream on the unsuspecting customer’s empty cone.

The toddler, who featured in the Oxford Mail on Wednesday, has touched people’s hearts and the family have received dozens of calls and emails from people eager to help.

Skye’s father Andy, 42, said: “A lot has happened in the last 24 hours, people have really responded.

“I have a lot of emails to look through.

“We’re talking with people to try to get things happening next week.”

As well as trying to complete Skye’s list, Mr Hall and his wife Sally have set up the Blue Skye Thinking charity and launched the Loom to the Moon appeal.

The appeal aims to make the world’s longest loom band – a craft where you tie small plastic bands together to form a chain.

The idea for the challenge came when Skye was making loom bands while receiving treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for hours at a time.

Despite only being set up this week, nearly 3,000 people have already liked the Loom to the Moon Facebook page and tens of metres of loom band have already been made by quick-fingered volunteers.

Blue Skye Thinking and the appeal will raise awareness and fund research into new treatment for brain tumours.

Mr and Mrs Hall say that the current treatment options are not good enough, as Skye’s radiotherapy treatment has given him radionecrosis, where healthy cells in his brain and spinal cord have been damaged.

Mr Hall, a PE teacher at Abingdon School, said: “Skye is clearly our primary focus, but what is also of importance to us is that other children who are afflicted by this horrible disease have access to treatment which is less cruel and less debilitating in nature.

“It is brutal and barbaric. We say that, because his disease is stable, but it is the side effects of the treatment which are killing him.

“We want to accelerate the good work being done in research centres around the UK and prevent more children from dying as a result of the toxic treatment.”

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9:21am Sun 10 Aug 14

Man on the Green says...

I was struck by Skye's father's comments about the treatment options available in this country.

Oxford has some of the world's leading physicists, especially in the field of charged particle therapy, and they have been pushing for the UK to follow the US, Japan, Italy, France and Germany in investing in a cyclotron or synchrotron capable of delivering precisely the sort of highly targeted and pin-point radiotherapy that it would appear Skye needed. Sadly, despite their efforts, this is yet another area where the UK is being allowed to lag behind other countries. One of the real advantages of charged particle therapy is that it can enormously reduce the damage to healthy tissue around the tumour, and is thus especially suited to the treatment of brain tumours.

It sounds as if the cancer this brave boy is suffering from may sadly be too far advanced by now for him to benefit from such treatment, but I would hope that a wider debate can start on whether the UK should not seek to set up a charged particle centre (and where better than in Oxford?). I applaud his father for speaking out.

In the meantime, we must be prepared to offer children and other patients who could benefit from such treatment the opportunity of going to one or other of the EU centres where charged particle therapy is available. They deserve that chance.
I was struck by Skye's father's comments about the treatment options available in this country. Oxford has some of the world's leading physicists, especially in the field of charged particle therapy, and they have been pushing for the UK to follow the US, Japan, Italy, France and Germany in investing in a cyclotron or synchrotron capable of delivering precisely the sort of highly targeted and pin-point radiotherapy that it would appear Skye needed. Sadly, despite their efforts, this is yet another area where the UK is being allowed to lag behind other countries. One of the real advantages of charged particle therapy is that it can enormously reduce the damage to healthy tissue around the tumour, and is thus especially suited to the treatment of brain tumours. It sounds as if the cancer this brave boy is suffering from may sadly be too far advanced by now for him to benefit from such treatment, but I would hope that a wider debate can start on whether the UK should not seek to set up a charged particle centre (and where better than in Oxford?). I applaud his father for speaking out. In the meantime, we must be prepared to offer children and other patients who could benefit from such treatment the opportunity of going to one or other of the EU centres where charged particle therapy is available. They deserve that chance. Man on the Green
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