The family of Glengormley boy Oscar Knox say they have been inundated with messages of support since they revealed the terrible news that his cancer has returned.
After a lengthy battle against neuroblastoma - an aggressive form of childhood cancer - the brave four-year-old had been clear of signs of the disease for several months.
However, his devastated parents Stephen and Leona last week went public with the heartbreaking news that his cancer has returned.
“Oscar’s cancer has returned, the disease is extensive, and it’s spreading rapidly,” his mother Leona wrote on Oscar’s blog.
“We found out six days ago that he had relapsed after suddenly developing symptoms during our last few days in Scotland. We saw the full extent of it in the scans he had today. It’s not good, we are totally heartbroken and very frightened about what lies ahead.”
Oscar has now started a course of chemotherapy treatment at hospital in Belfast, and his family have appealed for people to keep him in their prayers and positive thoughts.
“We have been absolutely inundated with messages of support for Oscar and our whole family in this past few days, which has helped us to get through the emotional hurdle of beginning treatment once more. It’s important for us to draw strength from somewhere, so we can be the strong parents Oscar needs us to be and will him to fight to get better,” Leona added.
‘Wee Oscar’ was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma in November 2011. His brave fight against the disease, and his family’s efforts to raise funds for the Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Alliance, captured people’s hearts and minds across Northern Ireland and around the world.
The huge amount of money raised by Oscar’s family, friends and supporters is being held by the charity and will be used to pay for specialist treatments abroad if his family, and his medical team, can identify any that may benefit him.