Family delight as they reach fund’s target

Organisers of the event at The Thorngate Halls in Gosport with Sam John and his parents ''(left to right) Guitarist Iain Donaldson (26), singer Chloe Rule (28), singer Kim McGinley (28), Sam John (16), mum Vicki John (38), dad Steve John (44), and singer Annie Buggins (21) ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131558-5347)
Organisers of the event at The Thorngate Halls in Gosport with Sam John and his parents ''(left to right) Guitarist Iain Donaldson (26), singer Chloe Rule (28), singer Kim McGinley (28), Sam John (16), mum Vicki John (38), dad Steve John (44), and singer Annie Buggins (21) ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131558-5347)
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WHEN Sam John goes to America a week today to begin treatment on a brain tumour, his parents will be able to focus all their attention on him.

Because whatever happens when the radiotherapy begins, his treatment will be paid for.

Sam, 16, of Albert Road, Fareham, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour when he was just nine years old, and a test in February found the tumour had started to grow.

He needs nine weeks specialist radiotherapy treatment, called proton beam therapy, to stop it.

Last night a third fundraiser for his £120,000 treatment was held in Gosport, at the Thorngate Halls, featuring live bands and singers.

Sam’s parents Steve and Vicki were there for the show.

Vicki said: ‘We’re overwhelmed, and we’re just so grateful to everybody.

‘We’ve actually done it already – raised the £120,000 – in just a few months.

‘The NHS did agree to fund the trip but we know the money is there in case anything happens we’re not prepared for.’

There were originally fears the NHS wouldn’t pay for the treatment in America, as the cut-off age is 16.

Vicki added: ‘Sam turned 16 in the January and we found out in February he needed to have the treatment.

‘We thought rules are rules, but the NHS said that because he’d had the tumour since he was nine, they would pay for it.

‘We’ll be setting up a charity when we get home so other people with the same condition as Sam can benefit from it, and all these fantastic people who have done these brilliant things for us will know their money is helping someone else.’

Another reason for the family to continue their fundraising was so they could go over to America as a group to support Sam, as that is not NHS-funded.

The Jam for Sam, as last night’s event was called, was organised by Kim McGinley, 28, from Stubbington, and around 250 people attended.

She said: ‘A friend of mine told me about Sam, and I wanted to do something to help.’