A teenager, who has been battling bone cancer for five years, made an emotional appeal for £200,000 for treatment after medics said he had just days to live.
Connah Haslam, 19, from Bury in Manchester, has been fighting Ewings Sarcoma – a form of bone cancer – for five years.
But since June his condition has rapidly deteriorated and his family were told on Friday the NHS have no further treatment options available.
His mother Kelly has launched a desperate last-gasp appeal to try and raise £200,000 by tomorrow to send Connah for pioneering treatment in Germany.
Connah Haslam (pictured), 19, from Bury in Manchester, has been fighting Ewings Sarcoma – a form of bone cancer – for five years
In an heart-wrenching appeal, a visibly-weak Connah struggles to speak to ask the public to help save him.
He said: ‘I need help off you guys. I need you to be as supportive as you can, send as many donations as you can and I need the money by Monday or I will be dead.’
His mother said: ‘He is extremely upset by it, he is scared by everything that’s going on around him.
‘But he is a very brave lad, he will deal with things – he won’t break down, he just wants to give us support as well as us giving him support.
‘I’m just trying to keep my face smiling and happy for him to encourage him to keep going and keep fighting.
‘He’s just desperate to go. I can’t turn around and say no we can’t go. He doesn’t want to die.’
The Hallwang Clinic, a private specialist treatment centre, has said it could start Connah on potentially lifesaving treatment today – if the family can raise 80 per cent of the £200,000 treatment as a deposit.
Kelly, who is Connah’s full-time carer, said they have packed their car ready to drive to Germany, as Connah is too unwell to fly, and are hoping against hope they can secure the funds from donations after they were unable to get a loan to cover the costs.
The 36-year-old said: ‘We need to have 80 per cent of the money in place by tomorrow and it’s a horrendous amount of money. It is his last chance. He really doesn’t want to give up. We wanted to be leaving by now to be driving over by now.
‘The consultant said they want to put him on chemotherapies that aren’t available in Britain. If he can get the tumours under control they will start him on a course of immunotherapy. There is a room waiting for him at the clinic.’
She added: ‘It was just yesterday when we were basically told this is it – we can’t do anything more for him. Everybody is absolutely devastated, we are scratching around to try and find every single penny.
‘Nobody’s sleeping, nobody’s eating, we do not know where to turn we feel it’s unreal in a way but it is real – it’s happening in front of our eyes.
‘He doesn’t have long. From what I have been advised he only has days, which is why it’s extremely urgent The money we need is a football match for one of the Manchester United players, it’s a week’s wage and we can’t even scratch it together between 10 people.’
Connah McDougall-Haslam, pictured, with his mother Kelly Haslam, dad Andrew McDougall, sister Marlie McDougall-Haslam
Connah was diagnosed with the disease in 2012, when he was just 14 and attending Castlebrook High School in Bury.
He underwent many rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and then surgery, in which the whole of his femur and part of his hip joint removed, and replaced with prosthetics.
Following the treatment he went into remission for just under two years, but then in August 2015 his family were devastated to learn that his cancer had returned, and in a more aggressive form in both of his lungs.
Throughout the last five years Connah has been treated at the Manchester Children’s Hospital, the Christie and has also been seen at Fairfield General Hospital for fluid on his lungs.
Because of his love of video games, he had been studying IT at Bury College, but was only able to complete his first year before the punishing rounds of chemotherapy became too much for him to continue.
Since June, Connah has lost nearly 2st in weight and is continually exhausted and struggling to breath.
It was hoped that he could get a place on a clinical trial in London but the date was delayed until Connah was visited by a palliative care nurse who informed them all they could offer him now was pain relief.
Kelly said: ‘He’s always been upbeat and never stopped smiling, laughed and joked the whole way through it all.
‘But over the last two weeks he’s changed beyond belief physically. He’s losing his personality completely, the tumours have basically taken over everything, his mind and his body.’
To donate to support Connah visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kelly-haslam.