Amber Schofield and Ben Proctor's son, Charlie, desperately needs a liver transplant, after being diagnosed with a rare tumour back in 2016.
Writing on Charlie's fundraising Facebook page, mum Amber said: "This is the hardest post I hope to ever write. If nothing is done, the next post will be that Charlie has taken his last breath. This is it…
"The week before our holiday we spoke with Charlie’s consultant. His cancer is growing faster than we expected in both his liver and lungs. We knew if money wasn’t raised that this would be his last Christmas. Our last Christmas with our baby.
"How can a parent, who’s already planning the last few months of their child’s life, feel any worse? By hearing the words 'he has 4-6 weeks of life left'. That’s how. This was nearly four weeks ago. Charlie has two weeks left to breath, 14 days to see the world, 336 hours to spend with his little sister, his baby sister he won’t get to see grow."
Charlie was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma – a rare tumour that begins in the liver – in February 2016.
To make matters even worse, Amber said that she spoke to a doctor in America who "is confused why Charlie isn't already cancer-free, who has had cases worse than Charlie that are now living normal lives".
"Charlie will die here. Fact! And very soon! If there was no hope I would come to terms with this and start to prepare but how can I when I know he can have a life!
"I’ve just spoken with Dr. Geller tonight and it breaks my heart each time! I cry to him. He wants us there next week. He WANTS Charlie in his hands. We want Charlie in his hands! Charlie NEEDS to be there!"
Charlie's parents are "begging more than ever" for donations, in a bid to raise the money for life-saving surgery this week.
Since his diagnosis, Amber and Ben have desperately been crowdfunding for a liver transplant at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio.
But last month, they learnt that the op would now cost a staggering £855,000.
So far, their fundraising efforts have brought in nearly £190,000
Now, in one last desperate attempt to save their little son, they're asking that people give as much as they can.
"Not only will he get his life but imagine how you will feel knowing you’ve helped! Don’t hold back because you think others won’t! Just donate! Donate what you can…some can donate £1 and some can donate £100! Whatever you can spare please please donate it to Charlie!" the post continued.
Charlie's mum continued: "2 weeks. 14 days. 336 hours.
"I’m crying my eyes out right now, I’m a mess. I’ve to sit and watch my baby in pain, screaming 'when will it stop', 'oh no not again', 'help me mummy'…yet I’m not allowed to touch him due to the pain it causes! I’ve to sit helplessly and watch him scream.
"I beg you with everything I have to donate if you can’t please share to not only your page but to every page you can!"
Doctors initially told Amber and Ben, from Church, Lancashire that Charlie's last hope was a liver transplant which would cost around £300,000.
But after learning that it'd actually cost three times that amount, they've taken the heartbreaking decision to stop raising the cash.
"We realised we could never raise this in time and therefore are stopping all fundraising events," the pair wrote in a Facebook post back in August.
"They are to (sic) much time and effort for a small amount of what we now need."
Amber first noticed something was wrong with Charlie back in 2016, when the little boy's stomach began to harden and his veins became visible.
Hepatoblastoma – the cancer which targets children under three-years-old
Despite it being the most common malignant liver tumour in young children, hepatoblastoma is still an incredibly rare form of cancer, affecting fewer than one in a million kids.
The exact cause is unknown, but children who are born prematurely are thought to be of a higher risk.
If the entire liver has been attacked, a transplant may be needed.
Symptoms of the disease include:
- Swollen abdomen
- Stomach pain
- Yellow skin
He was diagnosed at the Blackburn Royal Hospital with hepatoblastoma – a childhood cancer so rare that it's thought to affect fewer than one in a million children.
The only treatment for hepatoblastoma in the UK is chemotherapy – which Charlie had more than 20 rounds of.
In May 2017, he then had an operation at Birmingham Children's Hospital to remove the tumours in his liver – after which, doctors said he was in remission.
But earlier this month Charlie developed a rash which doctors initially believed was a reaction from the chemo.
They told his parents that if Charlie developed more rashes, he wouldn't be able to undergo any more rounds of the treatment.
A few days later, experts at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital told Amber and Ben that Charlie had developed several small tumours on his liver – ruling out any hope of further surgery.
The only option left was a liver transplant, which the family hoped to get in the US from Dr James Geller at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio.
But they soon found out that they'd actually have to raise over £850,000.
You can donate to Charlie's Chapter here.
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