THE family of a teenage boy who has a life-threatening brain tumour are appealing for help to raise at least £100,000 to save him.
Sam John, 16, of Albert Road, Fareham, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour when he was just nine years old.
A test earlier this month found the tumour had started to grow.
He needs specialist radiotherapy treatment, called proton beam therapy, to stop the tumour from growing.
As it is not available in the UK, the family is waiting to find out if Sam meets criteria so the NHS will pay for them to go over to America.
But if their application is refused, the family will have to shell out up to between £100,000 and £200,000 for 10 weeks’ stay and treatment at a hospital in Florida.
Dad Steve, 44, said: ‘Finding this out has been so upsetting for us all. Sam has been upset, but now we have a plan, it has given him a focus on what can happen next. We put a message out on Facebook asking people to help, and we didn’t know what kind of response we would get.
‘But it’s been great – we didn’t think so many people would help.
‘If we don’t get NHS funding then we have no option but to get the money ourselves.’
A community page on the social networking site called Mission For Sam has already attracted more than 600 people showing support.
People and organisations are already planning fundraising events such as bake sales and raffles.
And scores of people want to pledge money to the cause.
The family are now in the process of setting up a website so they can publicise events.
‘We want to raise the money for June,’ added Steve.
‘Sam is doing his GCSEs at Neville Lovett School, in Fareham, at the moment, and we don’t want to disrupt that.
‘He’s doing really well and is on course for getting As and Bs.
‘But this treatment will make a huge difference to his life, so we need to raise the money.’