Parents of little boys and girls fighting neuroblastoma will be able to speak to top doctors at an event funded by the Niamh’s Next Step Appeal.
Cash raised for the appeal will be used to fund The Parent Education Neuroblastoma Conference, which will take place on Saturday, October 6, at the Thistle City Barbican hotel and conference venue in central London.
The Niamh’s Next Step appeal was set up to raise £450,000 to pay for five-year-old Niamh Curry of Wellingborough to get treatment in America for neuroblastoma.
Niamh sadly died in May and since then her parents Chris and Sam have decided to continue raising awareness and money to go towards education, research and hopefully a cure for the disease in memory of their little girl, with the fundraising total now at £360,000.
Parents from the UK and Europe and their children will be able to have their questions about current neuroblastoma treatments and trials answered at the event.
Niamh’s dad Chris Curry said: “Nothing will bring our lovely Niamh back, but we are pleased and proud that her legacy will allow this amazing conference to take place.
“When Niamh was diagnosed, we had so many questions, so the opportunity to provide other families with a chance to hear from, and ask questions of, renowned global experts is fantastic. We’re also hoping that this conference will raise more awareness of this horrible cancer which affects about 100 children in the UK every year.”
Speakers at the conference will include Dr John M Maris of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who would have been Niamh’s consultant had she travelled to America for treatment.
Mr Curry said the event would be a huge help to parents of youngsters battling neuroblastoma as, after exhausting treatment options in the UK, it was usually hard for parents to get advice about treatments available abroad.
He said: “I’m really proud that some of Niamh’s legacy is going towards this and it’s something we hope will continue in the future. Hopefully this will be a massive step towards helping out families.”
The conference is free to attend for all families and entertainment and activities are being arranged for children. Neuroblastoma Alliance UK says it hopes more than 70 families will attend the conference.
The charity’s chief executive, Alison Moy, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Curry family, and all those who raised money for Niamh, for suggesting the charity uses funds raised for Niamh to make this happen and help other children with neuroblastoma.”