- Video report by ITV News reporter Martha Fairlie
The mother of Bradley Lowery has met with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss making an immunotherapy drug available on the NHS in England and Wales to youngsters with neuroblastoma – a rare childhood cancer.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said it would like to include the drug for inclusion on the NHS but it is too expensive.
Gemma Lowery told ITV News that she is optimistic after meeting with Jeremy Hunt: "I'm very hopeful, I mean, his hands are tied in terms of where NICE are concerned but he has influence. Everybody knows he has some influence in terms of what can be done."
“I'm just hoping that and praying that they come to the right decision.”
Bradley Lowery died last July after a public battle with terminal cancer. As a fan and and mascot for Sunderland, he became close friends with his hero Jermain Defoe.
For other parents with children suffering from neuroblastoma – it is inconceivable that the drug will not be made available.
Three-year-old Eden Eyre has the condition and takes the drug to prevent a relapse.
Her mother, Emma O’Grady told ITV News: “To watch your child go through chemotherapy is horrible. It is the worst thing I’ve ever had to make my daughter too.”
Eden’s father, Billy Eyre said: “It’s not a nice feeling to know that these other children will not get immunotherapy – it’s not that the doctor’s do not want to give it, it’s the fact that NICE won’t allow it.”