George and the Giant Pledge

On January 3rd 2017 our son George was diagnosed with cancer. A PNET soft tissue Ewing's Sarcoma.
This is his story and our Giant Pledge to raise £1,000,000 to help beat childhood cancer so no other child has to suffer in this way.

We decided to set up ‘George and the Giant Pledge’ because no child should ever have to have their childhood taken from them in this terrible way.

VickiGeorge's Mum
Alex and George

On 3 January 2017 Vicki and James Woodall (Woody) received the news that’s every parent’s worst nightmare. They were told by doctors at The Royal Marsden Hospital that a lump they’d found on their then four-year-old son’s back was in fact cancer, a rare PNET soft tissue Ewing’s Sarcoma.

From being a perfectly healthy and happy little boy George and the Woodall family’s lives changed overnight. Over the course of 2017 he endured 14 rounds of chemo, had part of his spine removed during 10 hours of complex surgery and received proton therapy in the USA thanks to the NHS.

Vicki and Woody are trying to make the best of their bad situation and, despite navigating George’s difficult cancer journey, supporting his older brother and trying to maintain some semblance of family life, they’ve pledged to raise £1,000,000 to help beat childhood cancer.

“Seeing all those young children with no hair and tubes coming out of them on our first visit to The Royal Marsden was truly heartbreaking. Yet the thing that struck us the most was how many of those kids had a smile on their face. It was then that we decided to set up ‘George and the Giant Pledge’, because no child should ever have to have their childhood taken from them in this terrible way.”

Help Team George and the Giant Pledge raise £1,000,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

None of the money raised is directly for George, your donations will go 100% to the children’s team at The Royal Marsden Hospital to help fund much needed research into children’s cancer as well as help The Royal Marsden team continue the outstanding work they’re doing for children and families affected by cancer.

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Our Progress

After such a fun filled family weekend away with so many sporting activities, today's visit to the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital in Stanmore North London stopped us in our tracks and made Woody and I feel a little glum today. George has had so many ups and downs but has done so well getting through each and every one of them. As if he's not already had enough come his way, today the prospect of a body brace for the next 10 years was thrown his way.

At the end of the day we know a body brace isn't all that bad. He's alive, he's currently cancer free and he's mobile... but that doesn't stop us both sulking like a child. The idea of locking him into a body brace for 18-20 hours a day isn't exactly a pleasant one, let alone something we'll enjoy negotiating with our stubborn five-year-old. But as you can see from today's x-ray on the right, the curvature of his spine has progressed quite a lot since the x-ray taken after his surgery last year, which you can see on the lefthand side in today's picture.

As it happens George's curve isn't an awful one and we knew from the nature of his cancer surgery this could always happen. The fact it's moved to a 35 degree angle in under twelve months is what brought up today's conversation. Typically at a 30 degree curve consultants step in with a brace as intervention as, when it comes to young kids, it's a good time to stop things getting any worse as their bodies are still so very pliable.

George still has around 10 more skeletal years of growing so with the help of a solid body brace it could help him grow up straighter than he would otherwise. We discussed how it would be pretty miserable for him to wear it for such a long time into his teens. So to that point today we all agreed to see how things progress and for us to come back for a review in 4 months time.

There's just so many advantages to not inhibiting his movement, not least after his last year's cancer treatment he's been through. But it's more than likely things will get progressively worse so we have the joy of locking him into a new body brace world from the start of the new school year ☹️

Add to that Eefije flying home today just means we're both having a bit of a sulk today. I know we'll get over it and it's nothing compared to what so many other kids have to tackle so soon enough we'll have a little word with ourselves and get over it!

Between us we've got this.


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