A fundraising campaign to create an outdoor area for a 13-year-old boy with a rare form of cancer has reached £10,000.
William Riddler from Ripon is currently undergoing treatment for stage 4 metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a very rare and aggressive type of cancer.
And as William is unable to see his family and friends due to infection risks, a fundraising campaign has been started to create a ‘safe haven’ in the family’s garden.
Donations from more than 260 supporters has seen the fundraising total reach its target of £10,000 – enough to create a safe space for William with comfortable furniture, an outdoor heater, a hot tub and a shed that would allow him to see his friends.
William was diagnosed with the rare disease in March after a lump was discovered on his calf.
Further tests found it to be an aggressive cancer, which then spread to his eye bones, pelvis, spine, thighs, knee, ribs sternum and other areas of his body.
Louise Riddler, William’s mum, said:
“We discovered quite a large lump on his calf and when it was eventually scanned it was found to be a very rare form of aggressive cancer.
“Further tests revealed that because it’s so aggressive that it had spread to the majority of bones in his body and also the bone marrow.”
The nature of William’s disease means he is unable to see family and friends indoors, which lead to friends of the family starting a fundraising campaign in order to create a ‘safe haven’ for him.
And Louise has been overwhelmed with the support, having seen her plans to take William on holiday scuppered when he was found to have blood clots in his heart and lungs.
“It’s been absolutely amazing. As a mum I’ve always worked really hard to provide for my children… I’ve got some holidays planned locally – we’re not allowed to go abroad because of the treatment – so I’d planned some theme park days and things, then we discovered he had a blood clot in his heart and lungs.
“So a couple of friends set up a fundraising page to raise some money for a shed and hot tub, which we can set up in the garden.”
As he is unable to go to school due to his health, the campaign will allow William to see his friends again.
“He’s not well enough to go to school but he’s got a couple of friends that he’s able to see.
“This is what we’re aiming to do with the shed. People can come round – it’s still fairly open and so there’s less risk of infection from germs – and we’ll put some games in there so he can see his friends within the safety of his own home.”
Family friend Sarah Kitchen, who started the Crowdfunding campaign, said:
“Louise has always been one of the first people to help other families and has worked as a child minder for 18 years, particularly helping families with special needs, and also as a foster parent to vulnerable children.
“It is not in her nature to ask for help, but she has had to give up work and spends a lot of time in the hospital. James [William’s father] is also a local resident well known and liked by many, and would not hesitate to offer his help if needed.
“This family has given a lot to others, and we would really like to give something back in order to obtain the garden William really wants.”