Terminally ill toddler who delivered his parents' wedding rings in his toy car starts potentially life-saving drug trial
Charlie is suffering from acute myleoid leukaemia. Doctors told his parents last month he only had months to liveThey moved forward their wedding so their son could be best man
Charlie is now taking part in a drug trial in an attempt to stop cancer growthHis mother said if the treatment goes well it could give the toddler partial remission
19:39 GMT, 17 December 2012
A dying toddler who drove down the aisle at his parents' wedding in a remote controlled car has started potentially life-saving treatment – just in time for Christmas.
Brave Charlie Harris-Beard was best man for his father Joe when he tied the knot with his mother Fiona last month. He delivered the rings and smiled for pictures with guests.
The couple, both 30, brought their wedding forward after Charlie was given just weeks to live by medics who were treating their son for acute myeloid leukaemia.
New hope: Aston Villa fan Charlie with his big sister Ellie-Louise, mother Fiona and grandfather
Fiona with her son in hospital (left) and on her wedding day last month (right). The wedding was brought forward after doctors said Charlie had weeks to live
But despite the odds of survival being stacked against him, Charlie has been given fresh hope after being given the go ahead to take part in the trial of a revolutionary new drug.
Last week he started Aurora Kinase treatment, a drug which is administered over 72 hours every 21 days via intravenous infusion.
The drug is intended to inhibit cancer growth by blocking the enzymes which cause cancer cells to grow.
If the treatment is successful, it could pave the way for Charlie to undergo radiotherapy treatment in the future.
Today Mrs Harris-Beard said: 'If this goes well is would give a partial remission which would then mean that he can have radiotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
'The hope is that in the end we will be able to get rid of the cancerous cells. I don't want to say it will be a cure, because I want to take every day as it comes.
'None of this would have come about without Cancer Research UK, it is a treatment that is only available abroad – they helped bring it to the UK.
'It's very hard, especially at Christmas, I want our daughter to have a normal Christmas but with the treatment we haven't had a chance to even go shopping for presents yet.'
Charlie Harris-Beard acts as best man during the wedding of his parents Fiona and Joe. Pictured also with his sister Ellie-Louise
Special day: Charlie with his father (left) and arriving in his car with the rings (right)
The family hope Charlie will have recovered enough from his treatment to be allowed home in time for Christmas but if not they will spend the day in Birmingham Children's Hospital with their battling son.
Charlie, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, was first diagnosed with aggressive myeloid leukaemia on Easter Sunday last year.
In October he underwent a ground-breaking transplant using stem-cells from an American baby's umbilical cord.
But weeks later doctors told his parents
they could do nothing more to help him and said he had just weeks to
live. However, they never gave up hope and started ringing hospitals all
over the world to see if there were any pioneering treatments that
might help Charlie.
Family photo: Couple Fiona and Joe (centre) with daughter Ellie-Louise, son Charlie and Charlie's Godfather Phil Senior
'He's touched a lot of people's hearts': Charlie
before his family found out he was ill (left) and in hospital during
Mr Harris-Beard said: 'We hope and pray that they can do
something out there. It’s a long shot but we’re trying to still keep
going and see if we can find something.
'To find out the cancer had returned was absolutely devastating but we can’t give up.
'We will keep going and keep trying to find something. We’re trying to put as many smiles on his face as possible.'
For more information on Charlie's fight visit https://www.facebook.com/Cords4Life