Former chart topping Nigerian singer Uchenna Ikejiani, better known by her stage name Carol Jiani, has issued an appeal for funds to secure life-saving treatment for her son Harry.
The 17-year-old, a student at Colchester Sixth Form College, is being treated for brain cancer at the ’s unit at University College Hospital in London. Earlier this year he had operation to remove a tumour at the base of the brain but a recent CT Scan and Biopsy revealed the extremely rare form of cancer was still present.
Ms Jiani, a widower and mother of four children, has spent the last six months in and out of hospital with Harry. “This is the biggest battle of my life fighting for my son to beat this cancer,” she says. “I am praying and standing strong.” She continued, “I am a mother fighting and standing strong for my son. Words cannot express the pain that I felt when the Specialist Team Doctors confirmed that he has an aggressive rare form of cancer. According to the BBC, in 2008 only 201 cases of the disease had been recorded worldwide in the preceding two decades.”
She has been told that Proton Therapy is Harry’s best chance of survival but it is not available in the UK. Proton Therapy uses streams of proton particles, which can be more tightly focused on tumours compared to x-rays used in conventional radiotherapy, sparing more normal tissue. Currently the UK has one proton beam therapy facility, at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, but it’s a ‘low-energy’ machine, only suitable for treating people with rare eye cancers. Treating more complex cancers requires a ‘high-energy’ beam, which is available in the US.
Hence Harry will need to move to the US to receive treatment at University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute where he’ll have to stay for about three months. Ms Jiani is appealing for funds to pay for travel, medical fees and accommodation costs.
Harry received a massive boost when on December 10 he met the Duchess of York and her daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who have become patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Harry spoke at length with Princess Beatrice who he said was “polite and vibrant”, and added, “She listened to me.” Beatrice was in turn inspired by the student, saying: “His strength taught me so much. I learnt a huge lesson today from Harry.”
Harry said he likes to think positively, and does not listen to everything doctors say. He said, “I’m a very strong believer in mind over matter. Statistics are just numbers. Humans are so much more than numbers.” Carol who shot to fame in the 80s as the singer of Hit ‘N Run Lover is prepared to undertake personal appearances to help raise the required funds. If you want to help Carol and Harry, please visit www.gofundme.com/22uagd8