15-year-old teenager suffering from leukaemia hopes to raise $700,000 for treatment in USA

A teenager is appealing for donations from the public to raise funds for his leukaemia treatment in the USA.

Stomp was alerted to his story by his aunty, Stomper Lo.

In an Facebook message, Lo said her 15-year-old nephew, Nickson, is currently fighting an aggressive form of leukaemia.

In a telephone interview, Nickson's father informed Stomp that he was advised to take the teenager to Seattle, USA, for treatment. The medical bills for that course of treatment will amount to around $700,000. This excludes other costs like plane tickets and accommodation.

Nickson has since turned to crowdfunding to raise the amount needed for his treatment.

An account of the teenager's life before and after his cancer diagnosis was also featured on the crowdfunding site that was created for him by a family member.

Read the account:

"My name is Nickson, and this is my story. Just like any teenager, I am an active 15-years-old boy with my bright future in front of me and filled with zest of life. I have always been leading an active lifestyle. I am an avid basketball player and I have even qualified for a slot at the Singapore Youth Basketball Team. Life was truly amazing for me!

"However, on a fateful day in September 2015, I collapsed at home due to high fever and after several tests, doctors revealed that I’m suffering from an aggressive form of leukaemia. My world came tumbling down, and being a 15-year-old, I was not sure what to think .

"Thereafter, we sought medical treatment from both KK Hospital and NUH. In September 2016, I underwent chemotherapy My father’s bone marrow was harvested in hopes that I will have a full recovery. However, I then suffered a relapse later in November. After the relapse, my father’s cells were harvested to support the treatment of my leukaemia while searching for a compatible donor.

"While looking for a compatible donor, we will have to repeat the harvesting of my father’s cells and the usage of a German drug by the name of Blinatumomab to stabilise my condition. The drug costs about $220,000. It is is infused into the body over a period of one month. I am lucky to be covered by insurance for all the treatment I'm doing in Singapore but for any procedures that my father is doing in order to harvest his cells for me (or if there's any matching donors), insurance or Medisave doesn't cover them and we have to pay solely in cash.

"However, the doctors in Singapore have recommended us to seek treatment from a hospital in Seattle, USA, as it is the only place in the world for the cell therapy I require. There have been two successful cases who have returned back to Singapore with full recovery results.

"All the health insurance in Singapore can only cover local treatments, and not overseas treatment. The bills and deposit for the hospital in Seattle requires a minimum of SGD $700,000, and my parents were at a complete shock upon hearing the cost. It’s way beyond our means. 

"As parents, I know they want their children to be healthy, and if there’s anything wrong with us, they will always seek the best possible treatment for us. We’re not sure if we can find any donors at this stage, but the possibility of me recovering through cell therapy is high, and we sincerely urge your kind helping hand and generosity to help my parents to lessen the burden for my treatment.

"My father is the sole breadwinner of the family, and my mom has become a full-time housewife in order to take care of my brother and I.

"My life is not even halfway through yet. By far, cell therapy is the most feasible and effective option for my full recovery. Results have already been seen with two patients who have gone there for the similar treatment. They came back with very good results leading to a complete recovery from the dreadful condition. The cure that best fits my stubborn persistent leukaemia is only available in Seattle.

"My family and I can never thank you enough in helping us in fund raising for my treatment in the States and our family will forever be indebted to all the help and support we have received. Thank you so much for all the kind assistance rendered and we wish all of you good health. 

"Please help me to fight this leukaemia so that I can continue to walk the path in front of me. No amount is too small and we thank you again for your kind generosity.

"Nickson Yee"

As at 11am on May 18, $81,000 has been raised for Nickson's treatment.

If you would like to donate to Tam, click here.