A LONGWOOD tot will become the youngest Briton ever to have a groundbreaking cancer treatment in America.
Health chiefs have confirmed that Ruddi Waterworth-Jones will go to the United States for advanced proton therapy.
A panel of NHS experts has approved funding for the one-year-old to undergo the treatment in Florida.
But his family will now have to raise an estimated £10,000 to support the costs of the seven-week trip to Jacksonville.
Ruddi’s mum Ali Jones, 38, said: “He will be the youngest ever from England to be getting the treatment.
“There are still some uncertainties but I’m delighted because I know it’s the best thing for Ruddi.”
Ruddi was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare form of cancer of the soft tissue on the prostate – when he was just six months old.
He had to have an operation in September to remove his bladder and prostate.
The tumour on his prostate was successfully removed in the operation, but doctors still have concerns about two areas near his bowel where the cancer has a higher risk of returning.
He could have standard radiotherapy, but that would affect the growth of his pelvis and his ability to walk.
Proton therapy is a much more accurate treatment, which involves firing a beam of protons at tumours so that they receive a very high dose of radiation without damaging surrounding tissue.
The family faced a nervous wait to find out if the NHS National Commissioning Group’s proton therapy clinical reference panel would approve funding.
They have now been given the go-ahead for his treatment to start on December 7.
He will be given three hours of therapy a day for five days a week under general anaesthetic.
The NHS will cover the treatment costs and the cost of flights for Ali, Ruddi and Ruddi’s dad, Craig Waterworth. It will also pay for accommodation while the family is in Florida.
But the family will have to fund the cost of Ruddi’s health insurance – about £2,000 – and the cost of a flight for his 12-year-old sister, Ellys.
They will also have to pay for their living costs.
Ali said: “It’s really scary. We are going away somewhere for seven weeks that we have never been before and we don’t really know what’s going to happen.’’
Ali, whose 20-year-old daughter, Jade, is due to give birth, will miss the first few weeks of the life of her first grandchild.
“Who wants to go away from their daughter for seven or eight weeks at a time?” she added.
“Jade and I are so close, but we have just said, if it’s the best thing for Ruddi we have to do it.”
A donkey derby fundraising event has been organised at the Royal Oak pub on Manchester Road in Linthwaite this Sunday from 2pm.
Donations for Ruddi can be sent to Lloyds Bank, Commercial Street, Halifax, account number 28380660, sort code 30 93 76.