Bradley Lowery's mum makes national TV appeal with Jermain Defoe
The mum of little Bradley Lowery has appeared on national TV to talk about the need of having antibody treatment available on the NHS.
Gemma Lowery from Blackhall featured on the Victoria Derbyshire show this morning alongside footballer Jermain Defoe who was known as Bradley Lowery's 'best friend.'
The six-year-old tragically lost his battle with cancer neuroblastoma in July last year and since then his family have set up charity the Bradley Lowery Foundation which supports children and their families battling cancer.
Speaking ahead of the show Gemma said the Bradley Lowery Foundation is fighting to have antibody treatment available on the NHS and said that although it is expensive 'you cannot put a price on a child's life.'
She said: "Statistics show there is a 80% chance of a relapse after initial treatment if the patient does not have the antibody treatment.
"It can improve to 50% to 60% if you do have the antibodies, which may not sound like a lot to the general public, but when you are a parent of a child with neuroblastoma that is a major difference.
"Antibody treatment is manufactured in the UK and so the case of receiving the antibody on the NHS has been put forward to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence( NICE) to see if they will decide whether they are going to fund it so we can get it pushed through on the NHS.
"It has been on review with NICE for an extremely long time, so we want to get it through as soon as possible
"It is expensive, but you can't put money on a child's head."
Antibody treatment is used to help a patient's own immune system fight cancer.
Gemma said no new antibody trials are available on the NHS so parents are in a position where they have to apply for funding requests from the NHS or look to fundraise themselves.
On the show she spoke about the work of the Foundation in supporting families with fundraising and advice in a bid to keep Bradley's legacy alive.
She said: "We have bad days, but we also have good days as well.
"It's quite difficult as we have to live it every single day with the charity and that sometimes gets a lot to deal with.
"Bradley was put on earth to do a job and I am here to continue that.
"The Bradley Lowery Foundation has been helping me deal with the grief because I get to help other children and that helps me a lot."
Speaking on the special bond he shared with the youngster Defoe said it was an incredible experience and said he will treasure memories of the youngster forever.
He said: "The support from the nation was like nothing I had ever seen before.
"Everyone loved him, he was a character and he was really special."
Gemma's TV appearance follows MP's calling on ministers this week to rethink their treatment for the childhood cancer that Bradley lost his life to.
Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng said the existing policy not to treat survivors of neuroblastoma who relapse was "very harsh" and putting families under huge pressure to raise money for treatment.
He said: "I think we have to as a society look at ways in which the NHS could fund, and the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), could fund relapses."