Fundraising for Toby Robins
This Givealittle page is dedicated to helping Toby and his family in their fight against his cancer.Otago
With Toby being such an adventurous, curious and motivated 10 year old kid, with a wonderful sense of humour to match, it seemed unfathomable that anything would stop him from living life to the fullest. Unfortunately though, in January 2018, what began with complicated appendicitis was then diagnosed as Burkitt Lymphoma. This is a rare and aggressive blood cancer. The following seven months were a difficult and painful time for Toby and his family as he received treatment in Christchurch at the Children's Haematology Oncology Centre (CHOC). Toby’s two younger brothers and his mum and dad juggled their lives between home in Dunedin and hospital in Christchurch, trying to keep things as normal as possible.
In late August after seven rounds of chemotherapy, the family was devastated to learn that Toby's cancer had continued to spread and all treatment in New Zealand was exhausted. The family were faced with either palliative care for Toby or to look abroad at other treatment options.
Toby’s chances now rest in cutting edge CAR T-cell therapy from Seattle Children’s Hospital in Washington State, USA. However, adding to the medical stress on Toby and his family, is the fact that the therapy, while in its clinical trial stage, is unfunded and costs $700,000 NZD. Ben and Carolyn have put their all into Toby’s trip Stateside, both financially (with help from extended family) and mentally. Living costs on top of this while neither of them can work is proving very expensive in US dollars even with the reduced cost of accommodation while the family stays in a room at Ronald McDonald House.
They will be in the states for 3-4 months for the CAR T-cell treatment, then when they return to New Zealand Toby will require a stem cell transplant at Starship hospital in Auckland where the family will live for a further 3-4 months.
Ben and Carolyn are the last people to ask for help but under the overwhelming circumstances they have been dealt, any financial help we can get together to help with ongoing medical costs and living costs will be something that can ease that burden.
To all those who have donated already, organised fundraisers and shared this page our biggest thanks for your help both financially and with your messages of support and encouragement. It is inspiring in such a difficult time to see the amazing support out there for Toby and his family.
Please feel free to share this page so that we can reach as many people as possible. Thank you so much for being part of Toby’s journey back to enjoying his childhood again.
Lisa Brits' involvement (page creator)
I am a family friend helping to set the page up on their behalf
Use of funds
All donations will be used to help with the family's living costs while in the U.S.A and then in Auckland and any extra associated medical and travel costs. Your help will be gratefully received.
Toby fought bravely for 11 months but in the end the cancer was just too aggressive and our beautiful boy passed away on Wednesday January 9th 2019.
The support from this give a little page meant that our family could stay together for the 3 months that Toby received treatment in Seattle, and we could then remain together (family dog included) for Toby’s last 6 weeks in CHOC on our return to New Zealand.
We were able to create so many magical, special moments with family and friends and these are now, more than ever, priceless. We are so grateful for your generosity that enabled us as a family to be together to create them.
We were also able to fully honour Toby’s wishes for his cremation and his celebration of life.
Toby’s words he wanted us to remember were ‘don’t be sad because I’m gone, be happy that I was here’.
Right now it’s hard to find happiness when we’re hurting so much from saying goodbye to our brave, kind, amazing child, but those words are a gift and inspire us to live a life he would have been proud of.
Thank you all so much for being a part of Toby’s journey XX
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This page was created on 17 Aug 2018 and closed on 11 Feb 2019.