Oscar Saxelby-Lee, six, returns to school cancer-free


Boy, six, who battled rare form of leukaemia finally returns to school cancer-free after well-wishers raised £500,000 for his life-saving treatment in Singapore

  • Oscar Saxelby-Lee, from Worcester, had battled a rare form of leukaemia
  • He is now in his ninth cancer-free month after successful pioneering treatment
  • Oscar entered Pitmaston Primary School for the first time since December 2018 
  • Parents Olivia Saxelby and Jamie Lee described it as ‘the most amazing miracle’

It’s a picture taken by many a proud parent to mark the first day back at school.

But the image of Oscar Saxelby-Lee posing in his uniform at his front door is one his mum and dad feared they might never see again – after he spent almost two years battling a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia.

The six-year-old beamed with pride this week as he walked through the doors of Pitmaston Primary School in Worcester for the first time since December 2018, when he was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

He is now in his ninth cancer-free month after successful pioneering treatment abroad and on Thursday was able to visit his school to play with some friends. 

Oscar Saxelby-Lee, who spent almost two years battling a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia, is pictured in his school uniform outside his house with his mother, Olivia Saxelby

The six-year-old beamed with pride this week as he walked through the doors of Pitmaston Primary School in Worcester for the first time since December 2018, when he was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. (Pictured right is his father, Jamie Lee)

The six-year-old beamed with pride this week as he walked through the doors of Pitmaston Primary School in Worcester for the first time since December 2018, when he was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. (Pictured right is his father, Jamie Lee)

Oscar (second from left) is now in his ninth cancer-free month after successful pioneering treatment abroad - and on Thursday, he was able to visit his school to play with some friends

Oscar (second from left) is now in his ninth cancer-free month after successful pioneering treatment abroad – and on Thursday, he was able to visit his school to play with some friends

His parents, Olivia Saxelby, 26, and Jamie Lee, 28, described Oscar’s recovery and return to classes as ‘the most amazing miracle’.

Miss Saxelby added: ‘Oscar is truly an inspiration, we didn’t know if it was a day we’d ever see. 

‘He’s been asking to go back to school for months and we can’t actually believe it’s happened.’

Oscar had a successful stem cell transplant last year after almost 10,000 people queued to see if they were a match, but the disease returned in November.

In January, Oscar's parents were tod he was cancer-free following the therapy, which involves reprogramming immune system cells which then target the cancer. (He is pictured during his cancer treatment)

In January, Oscar’s parents were tod he was cancer-free following the therapy, which involves reprogramming immune system cells which then target the cancer. (He is pictured during his cancer treatment)

The NHS said it was unable to fund the treatment he needed so Miss Saxelby, who gave up work as a teaching assistant to care for her son, and Mr Lee, a builder, appealed for financial help to get him pioneering CAR-T trial therapy in Singapore.

Within three weeks, the family’s £500,000 target had been met. 

In January, they were told Oscar was cancer-free following the therapy, which involves reprogramming immune system cells which then target the cancer. 

After a second bone marrow transplant, Oscar was discharged from hospital in April. 

He is now under the care of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Kate Wilcock, Oscar’s head, said: ‘We think he is the most amazing, bravest boy – we are all proud of him.’

Oscar had a successful stem cell transplant last year after almost 10,000 people queued to see if they were a match, but the disease returned in November. (Above, potential stem cell donors in 2019)

Oscar had a successful stem cell transplant last year after almost 10,000 people queued to see if they were a match, but the disease returned in November. (Above, potential stem cell donors in 2019)

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