Parents of Jake, five, ask community to help him fight cancer

Parents of Jake, five, ask community to help him fight cancer

Yavneh Primary pupil's family fundraise to pay for treatment in the United States to fight off an aggressive form of cancer

Jake Cohen and his mum. (Blake Ezra Photography)
Jake Cohen and his mum. (Blake Ezra Photography)

The family of a five-year-old Jewish boy from Borehamwood are appealing for help to fund experimental cancer treatment in the United States when his NHS treatment ends.

Jake Cohen, who attends Yavneh Primary when he is fit enough, was three when he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called neuroblastoma.

With just 100 cases per year, neuroblastoma affects babies and infants, and despite warranting the most intense treatment regime of any form of cancer, recurs in up to half of all instances. Survival rates for relapsed neuroblastoma are around ten percent.

After several rounds of chemotherapy Jake’s cancer has still not been beaten so he has recently started a six-month round of immunotherapy, with radiotherapy and surgery still to come, but his parents Hannah and Adam say they need a Plan B.

Can you help Jake Cohen? (Blake Ezra Photography)

“We are raising funds in case Jake needs to access further treatment not available on the NHS to either keep the cancer from returning or clear the disease if his frontline treatment doesn’t go to plan,” said Hannah.

Jake’s parents are particularly interested in the clinical trial of Bivalent Vaccine in New York, whereby a new drug still being studied shows signs of helping the body’s immune system target and kill the cancerous tumours.

Jake Cohen. (Blake Ezra Photography)

It follows a difficult year in which the youngster underwent high-dose chemo at Great Ormond Street Hospital which led to liver problems. The family described it in a blog post as like “being kicked when you’re down, and then kicked again, and then a few more times for good measure”.

They are now raising money through the charity Solving Kids’ Cancer, with donations going into a pot for Jake’s non-NHS treatment should he need it. The money is distributed to other appeals or research if not.

“Our journey to-date has had so many unexpected additional steps, we just want to ensure that we are ready for whatever the future may bring in terms of Jake’s treatment,” said Hannah.

“Since launching the campaign in early December we have raised £60,000, mostly through sharing our story on social media. We have been blown away by the generosity we have been shown but we are still a long way from the sort of money we are likely to need.”


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