In April 2011 Charlie Harris – Beard, aged just 10 months, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and within just 4 months Charlie had already been through four intensive cycles of chemotherapy to cure the disease! But despite these gruelling treatments, the rare type of leukaemia reappeared and Charlie desperately needed a bone marrow transplant – having being given just three months to live.
On Nov 13th 2012 Dr’s stated that there was nothing more they could do here in the UK for Charlie and said that he had just a matter of weeks left to live.
Charlies supporters / friends immediately set up ‘Charlies fund’ in the hope of raising enough money to find him treatment somewhere else in the world and to put as many smiles on his face as possible – ensuring that the family were in a position to make as many memories as possible.
We refused to give up on Charlie and immediately began making contact with Dr's around the world. On December 3rd Charlie was given further hope – we attended a meeting with Cancer Research UK and Charlie was recommended for a trial drug. In order to be accepted for the trial Charlie had to further undergo intense tests, including a lumbar puncture, ECG and Bone Marrow Biopsy. The tests came back successful and Charlie was accepted for the trial drug which started on 11th December.
Aurora Kinase (The trial drug) is administered over 72 hours every 21 days via intravenous infusion and is intended to inhibit cancer growth by blocking the enzymes which cause cancer cells to grow.
Unfortunately the Aurora Kinase was not successful for Charlie and he was sent home to be with his family. Determined to fight for their son, Charlie's parents scoured the globe and contacted the worlds leading authorities in cancer treatments. A light of hope was found with an experimental trial. While Charlie's family waited to be accepted on the trial they continued to raise awareness of their son's condition by creating a Thunderclap, over 2 million people became aware of Charlie's condition and his Facebook page became flooded with questions about umbilical cord blood donation. On January 28th, Charlie was admitted to Birmingham Children's Hospital for a TPN drip to build up his strength ready for the experimental trial. In the days that followed Charlie developed pneumonia. More determined than ever to stop this happening to other families, Charlie's family started an e-petition to petition the UK Government to improve awareness and availability for umbilical cord blood donation. Charlie's petition was approved on 8th February at 10.33 am. Sadly at 2.04 pm the same day, Charlie lost his fight with cancer. Charlie has inspired so many people and his passing has inspired people to make a change, in the first 24 hours alone Charlie's petition gained over 10,000 signatures. Charlie's legacy will live on.
xxx Rest In Peace Charlie xxx