Surfing legend Kelly Slater is trying to help raise money for a young Australian boy needing to travel to the United States for cancer treatment. He recently shared a news story and a link to a GoFundMe campaign for Nixon Melville, a 4-year-old boy who was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma in July 2017. Melville has undergone chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy but still requires further treatment.
"Help Nixon raise funds [praying hands emoji] Nixon is suffering from a deadly cancer called Neuroblastoma. Please click link in stories to help his family get him to New York for treatments. Thanks!" Slater wrote on his Instagram account. He also shared a video detailing Melville's story and the amount of money required to get the young boy to New York for the clinical trial. The family hopes to raise $240,611 USD in time for the November vaccine trial.
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"In September 2019, Nixon relapsed. Our oncologist said that his chance of surviving the next 5 years is very little," the GoFundMe page reads. "He started a trial of combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The treatment is extremely painful as it attacks the nerves throughout the body. Imagine having a tooth ache but that feeling is throughout your abdomen, arms, hands, feet and legs. Because of this he is dosed up on double strength morphine/fentanyl and gabbapentin. This treatment will continue until mid October 2020 if there are no delays or complications."
According to the campaign, the doctors say that Melville will have a "zero to two" percent chance of surviving if he relapses again following the ongoing round of treatment. The family says that they cannot take this chance and that the vaccine trial is the only course of action. In order to take part, they will have to raise money to get to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.
The vaccine trial against neuroblastoma requires seven vaccines over a 12-month period. The trial has been taking place in New York for 10 years, but it is not available in Australia. According to the GoFundMe campaign, the end date of the trial was in May 2020, but the doctors told Melville's family that they will continue registering patients after this end date.
Slater previously invited Melville to his vacation home in Australia's Palm Beach. They spent the day playing the guitar together. Slater also gave Melville a signed surfboard, which the young boy played on during the news story detailing his need to raise the life-saving funds.