Celebrations as 'fearless' Oscar gives cancer the boot
OSCAR Knox, the north Belfast four-year-old who has been fighting a public battle against a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer, has been given the all clear.
Oscar's delighted parents Stephen and Leona relayed the news on their highly popular social networking sites on Monday night; delivering a message that over 60,000 supporters from around the globe have been hoping for.
The post on Facebook and Twitter said: "Today we got the most unbelievable news, NO cancer can be found in Oscar's body. HE DID IT!!!!"
The announcement is in stark contrast to the situation of only seven months ago when Oscar was fighting for his life in the intensive care unit of an American hospital.
At that time Oscar's parents were faced with the devastating news that their son would not be able to have the specialist immunotherapy treatment they had worked so hard to fund through the Oscar Knox Appeal.
With the same determination, courage and fighting spirit he has shown throughout his illness, Oscar battled his way back to better health, going from strength to strength in recent months.
Stephen Knox spoke to the Belfast Telegraph just after the news broke on Monday evening: "We are absolutely over the moon. Oscar's been going through post-treatment assessments over the last few weeks.
"His scan from earlier this month was clear, then the bone marrow result came in a few days ago and it was clear.
"Then today the bone sample came back and it was fine as well. They looked as hard as they could and couldn't find anything.
"The whole last 18 months have been hell trying to get him to this point, so it's exactly what we wanted to hear."
More than £300,000 has been donated to the Oscar Knox Appeal.
Stephen told the Belfast Telegraph that his family will be forever grateful for all of the support the appeal has received so far, but said that after the upcoming Fearless boxing fundraiser at City Hall next month the family will step out of public view.
"Fundraising will continue but we we will take our foot off the gas a bit," he said.
"Enough has been raised that if Oscar is ever fit enough for immunotherapy or has a relapse, it's there, and if Oscar doesn't need the fund – touch wood he doesn't – it will go to other families that need it.
"We have burned ourselves out and are taking a step back from the limelight.
"Everywhere Oscar goes he's like a wee celebrity; we now want his life to be as normal as possible.
"We want to say a massive thank you again to everyone who supported us throughout the whole campaign, it has meant so much to us."