Belfast Telegraph

Wee Oscar Knox's's parents launch charity in his memory

By Adrian Rutherford

He was the little boy who touched hearts across Northern Ireland and beyond.

And now the memory of Oscar Knox will live on through a charity set up in his memory.

The parents of the little boy, who died from neuroblastoma when he was just five years old, set up the fund to raise money to battle the devastating disease.

The Oscar Knox Fund at Solving Kids' Cancer will support neuroblastoma research.

Leona said: "All money raised by the Oscar Knox Fund will be ring-fenced by Solving Kids' Cancer to help find and fund promising new therapies for children who are fighting neuroblastoma right now and in the future."

Oscar was just three when he was struck down by neuroblastoma. The condition affects mostly babies and children aged under five, with the average age at diagnosis just 19 months.

Even with intense and aggressive treatment, it has one of the lowest survival rates of all childhood cancers, with a child dying from the disease in the UK and Ireland every 10 days on average.

Despite treatment in Belfast, London and Philadelphia, Oscar died on May 8, 2014.

Stephen and Leona, who are also parents to Izzie and Caspar, wanted to do something meaningful in their son's memory.

"As parents who lost their first-born child to neuroblastoma, we are passionate about funding research in order to improve treatments and survival rates for other children fighting the disease," said Leona.

"Approximately 110 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the UK and Ireland each year.

"Almost half will die, and those who do survive will suffer the horrific consequences of highly toxic treatment.

"Oscar didn't die because he had cancer; he died because we ran out of options to treat it.

"By investing in research, we can help more children survive and go on to live happy, healthy lives, and with the help of the public that is what we will do."

The couple announced news of the charity ahead of a star-studded golf tournament taking place this weekend.

The Oscar Knox Cup is an annual golf day that aims to raise funds for neuroblastoma research and keep Oscar's memory alive.

In its first year, more than £16,000 was raised.

The event, held in September each year around the time of Oscar's birthday, boasts an impressive line-up this time around.

Boxers Ca rl Frampton and Jamie Conlan are taking part, alongside Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe, snooker player Mark Allen, comedian Shane Todd and teenage golf prodigy Tom McKibben.

People can donate to the Oscar Knox Fund by text message. Text OSCAR to 70660

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