The Independent London Newspaper
18th April 2018

Family of brave schoolboy tell of treatment ordeal as he fights rare form of leukaemia

    Tony Clark and dad Anthony meet Dele Alli during the Spurs star’s recent visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital. 

    Published: 30 November, 2016
    By TOM FOOT

    A FAMILY have been turned upside down after a little boy was diagnosed with one of the world’s rarest forms of leukaemia.

    Tony Clark, a pupil at Torriano Primary School, is facing at least three years of chemotherapy treatment for the aggressive Acute L Leukaemia (ALL), which is caused by a genetic abnormality called “Philadelphia Chromosome”.

    The 11-year-old has been plunged into a world of blood transfusions and daily visits to major hospitals but made it home for his birthday last week.

    Earlier this month, he met his favourite Tottenham Hotspur player, Dele Alli, when the club’s players visited Great Ormond Street Hospital.

    Tony’s dad Anthony Clark, a builder who lives in Kentish Town, said: “He’s quite a quiet boy, but he’s been so resilient, he has been amazing. When they took blood from me, I just passed out. But he just gets on with it.

    “He was doing really well pre-season with his football, and then he started to have problems with his breathing. I thought he’d be all right, but it kept on happening. Then we saw these little blotches on his neck, they were bloody and purple. He had some blood tests.

    “It’s only been seven weeks, and I can’t remember my life without it. Every day you wake up and it’s the same. It’s like Groundhog Day. I don’t think in my life, I will get over hearing about the Philadelphia. They tell you its leukaemia, then five days later they hit you with this bombshell.”

    He added: “The Whittington say they’ve never had anyone with it, and Great Ormond Street Hospital, the consultant said he’d only had a patient with it once.”

    Tony’s footballing friends have organised fund-raising penalty shoot-out competitions and a football tournament is planned for Market Road tomorrow (Friday). An online page has already raised more than £8,000 which the family need for travel costs and medication. Mr Clark is a builder and former Southend United midfielder who also runs a football team called Islington Admiral FC.

    Mr Clark, a former Holloway School pupil, said the family are hoping that somewhere down the line they may be able to find a transplant for the Tony.

    Describing the children’s ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital, he said: “If there is a hell, it cannot be much worse – there are kids with tumours the size of footballs. Can there be a God, if this kind of thing is allowed to happen? I’ve stayed in 90 per cent of the time.”

    On the visit from the Spurs ace, he said: “We are all big Tottenham fans, it’s a family thing. His favourite player is Dele and so it was amazing when he turned up. Tony played with Tottenham at Fifa [Xbox video game], and Alli played with Barca. He’s only 20, you know. And that is not an easy ward to walk on to. He had flown back from Germany that night – they made him train the next day – and he still came after that. That was really nice.”

    More than 230 donations have been made online to raise funds for Tony, and Islington Boxing Club sold a signed Jack Wilshere Arsenal shirt for £1,000 towards the cause. 

    l To get involved visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/admiralfc

     

    Comments

    My baby cousin has and is

    My baby cousin has and is going through a lot hope he gets better soon live him lots

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