Watch as singer Marti Pellow dedicates special performance of 'Goodnight Girl' to four-year-old Oliver Stephenson
Singer Marti Pellow had a special virtual performance for a young Ackworth boy and called on people to help raise vital funds to send him to America for treatment.
Oliver Stephenson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in January this year and it currently undergoing treatment at Leeds General Infirmary with his dad by his side.
But in January next year, he will need a special kind of treatment - called Bivalent vaccine - which is available in America.
Friends and family have been busy trying to raise funds to send Oliver to the States for this treatment, and now, with a little help from Marti, it's hoped even more people will donate.
The Wet Wet Wet singer dedicated the online video performance of hit song ‘Goodnight Girl’ to Oliver, saying: “Hi everybody, I’m going to do a wee song for somebody today, who’s very, very special and that special person is wee Oliver.
“I'm going to put a wee link down below and we’ll see if we can raise money for his treatment that’s required, I’ll be forever indebted to you if you do that.
“I'm going to sing a wee song for him to entertain you, so if you feel you would like to contribute to his appeal that would be special.”
Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma following blood tests earlier this year, his chemotherapy began just two days later. He had a tumour on his kidney and the cancer had spread to his bone marrow, skull and eye sockets.
A fundraising page has already raised more than £97,000 in donations.
Lyndsey Adams, a family friend in charge of fundraising, said: “I’ve known Oliver and his family for some time now, he’s really good friends with my twin daughters.
“When Oliver was diagnosed, we started raising money for travel support but as time went on his condition got more serious.
“We need a total of £230,000 which will include living and travel expenses, so I set up the CrowdFunding page.
“If Oliver doesn’t receive this treatment, there’s a 60 per cent chance of recurrence, so even before lockdown we were doing everything we could like raffles and events.
“Donations have been amazing, it brings me to tears seeing how generous people are, following Marti’s video we had a big wave of donations.
“My heart breaks for people in Oliver’s position who won’t be able to receive their treatment overseas, luckily we have until January next year to raise the full amount needed.”
Oliver is currently in hospital with his dad, James, where he will have to remain for a month while he receives intensive chemotherapy.
Due to the COVID19 pandemic safety precautions, he will not be able to see his mum, Laura, during this time.
Laura said: “Oliver has been in and out of hospital since January, but he’s recovered every time.
“It's been more daunting for me and Oliver’s dad, every time he has a hospital appointment it’s very scary.
“This morning Oliver went into hospital for chemotherapy, it’s hard because me and his little brother won’t be able to see him for all that time.
“He’s so prone to anything at the moment due to the chemotherapy, even a common cold could put him in intensive care.
“It’s hard but we’re working through it, we’re fundraising for him all the time, we’re selling t-shirts, donated items and having a weekly quiz with the people of the community, we’ve also started doing the everest challenge.
“It was surreal seeing Marti Pellow singing for Oliver. Last night my phone went crazy with notifications and when I saw it I couldn’t believe it.
"It happened at the best possible time because it cheered us all up the night before Oliver went into hospital.
“We’ve still got a way to go regarding fundraising, and it’s hard not having a physical support system at the moment.
“But seeing all the messages from those who are helping and donating about Oliver’s beautiful smile are amazing, he’s my little superhero.”