Oscar Knox: Messages of support flood in as family reveals his health has got worse
Messages of support from across the globe have been sent to the family of Oscar Knox after they revealed his health has deteriorated recently.
Oscar's plight has captured the hearts and minds of people across the UK, Ireland and further afield since 2011 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer.
More than £600,000 has been raised – through The Oscar Knox Appeal – so far to fund specialist immunotherapy treatment for the little boy from Mallusk.
In April 2013 the Knox family were celebrating after Oscar appeared to have beaten neuroblastoma, but sadly it returned last summer.
Then on Saturday, messages posted from the five-year-old boy's official Facebook and Twitter accounts to its 140,000 supporters said: "Poor Oscar's health has deteriorated rapidly this last week and with extremely heavy hearts we have now moved to the phase of managing his pain. #TeamOscar."
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness took to Twitter to voice his support for Oscar, his parents Stephen and Leona and his younger sister Izzie.
"Oscar and his inspirational family have gripped our hearts – love, thoughts and prayers for them today. Little hero," Mr McGuinness wrote.
Stephen Knox and wee Oscar are both big Celtic FC fans.
The campaign to raise funds for Oscar's specialist immunotherapy treatment has drawn considerable support from the Glasgow club, its supporters and the people of the Scottish city.
On Twitter, Celtic Football Club posted a touching message of support.
It said: "The thoughts and prayers of the Celtic family are with brave Bhoy, Oscar Knox, and his family."
A later message added: "Fantastic show of support from Celtic fans in the first half, with a minutes applause for brave Bhoy, @Wee_Oscar Knox."
And fans of Celtic's main rival, Rangers FC, also sent their best wishes to the brave youngster.
A post on a Rangers Facebook fanpage said: "Looks like Wee Oscars health has took a turn for the worse
"On behalf of this page, our followers and the #RangersFamily around the World, we're sending our prayers in the hope he pulls through and feels better soon."
In 2011 Oscar Knox (5) from Mallusk was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma, which affects one in every 100,000 children.
He also has the chromosome-disorder, Jacobsen Syndrome, which is thought to affect only 250 children worldwide.
Oscar's parents Stephen and Leona run a blog and fundraising campaign The Wee Oscar Knox Appeal. Around 140,000 people follow Oscar's progress on Facebook and Twitter @Wee_Oscar If anyone would like to get involved with The Oscar Knox Appeal email: firstname.lastname@example.org