Jack Middleton, a young motocross star, was taking part in a competition when he suffered an accident and was rushed to A&E on January 19.
A hospital X-ray showed that the he had fractured his lower right leg – but also revealed something much more sinister, Essex Live reports.
After doctors spotted an abnormality in his scans, Jack and his mum, Stacey, were taken hundreds of miles away to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for a second opinion, with dad Paul following behind in the family’s car.
Upon arrival at the children’s hospital, the family were told devastating news. Following more tests, the Middleton family were told that Jack had osteosarcoma proximal, commonly known as bone cancer, in his right tibia.
Speaking to EssexLive, Paul Middleton, 44, Jack’s father, said: “It felt like our guts had been ripped out and someone twisted it around. The next 2 days were a whirlwind until we were told Jack had osteosarcoma proximal [bone cancer] in his right tibia. We can’t tell you what went through our minds.”
The family, who live in Brixham, Devon, have had their lives flipped upside down and their Essex relatives have constantly supported them to help fundraise for Jack’s treatment.
They had to move to Manchester to be near Jack during his life-saving treatment. The family also have to live off of one wage after Stacey’s business as a mobile hairdresser has ground to a halt in order to look after Jack.
Paul works as a gas engineer for E.on and has thankfully been able to transfer within the nationwide company and carry on working in Manchester. But finances have proved to be a huge struggle for the family as they have to travel all across the county for Jack’s treatment.
The Middletons will also have to self-fund a lifesaving operation in Austria for Jack, which is not available on the NHS. Jack will also lose a leg but doctors are hopeful the pioneering drug therapy will save his life. Jack will now fly to the Medaustron Clinic in Wiener, Austria, where his leg will be removed below the knee on July 4. It is hoped that the operation will save Jack’s life.
Jack is a keen motocross competitor, who travelled up and down the county and hopes to continue his sport despite losing a leg at his right knee. The family hopes to raise funds to buy a sports leg so the motorcross starlet can continue competing.
Paul added: “Jack is so brave and he’s not really bothered about it. He just wants to get back on the [motocross racing] track. It’s unbelievable how he’s handling it – he knows exactly what’s happening but he’s not bothered about it – he just wants to be back on the bike.
“He’s got that fight in him. He knows he wants to pursue the motorsport – he has his sights set on that and the prosthetic leg will help him get that. The NHS doesn’t offer sporting legs so we have to fund that ourselves.”
The family, including those who live here in Brentwood, Essex, have already have raised £100,000 for the surgery between them – but need to find another £150,000 to buy a special prosthetic leg so Jack can continue his motocross racing. Jack also contracted both MRSA and Covid while he underwent chemotherapy twice and radiotherapy and lost all his hair. Jack’s sibling – Harry, 6, has also chosen to shave his head to support his brave brother.
Sadly, despite all the chemo and radiotherapy, the treatment isn’t working and has spread through his body. Thus, the family has no option but to try the pioneering life-saving treatment in Austria.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to help them with Jack’s fight against bone cancer and his rehab journey. “We’ve never claimed a penny off the state,” they said. “We’ve both always worked since we left school. If we needed anything we’ve saved or done without. We feel so embarrassed to be begging to people for money.
“With family and using all our savings we’ve got the money together for the operation. But we need £155,000 for the prosthetic sports leg he needs so that he will be able to pursue his career in motocross. That’s the one thing that’s keeping him going.”
Paul added: “We tend to be a private family and have never asked anybody for anything but we do need the support. The logistics for everything is unbelievable”. Since Jack’s diagnosis in January, Paul said he had racked up 17,000 miles in his car – adding to the already astronomical costs.
Thankfully, one expense that the family doesn’t need to worry about is flights to Austria, as Jet2 kindly offered open return flights to Austria in order for Jack to get his life-saving treatment. However, with the family expected to be looking after Jack in Austria for around nine weeks, finances are a worry for them. If you would like to take a look at the fundraiser or to donate, click here.
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