Chesterfield charity uses Ashya King cash to help other sick children

Sandra Vollrath, Simon Vollrath, Liam Vollrath and Thomas Vollrath.
Sandra Vollrath, Simon Vollrath, Liam Vollrath and Thomas Vollrath.

Thousands of pounds which were originally raised by a Chesterfield charity to help Ashya King are now being used to aid other sick children.

Kids ‘n’ Cancer was prepared to give £50,000 in donations to Ashya’s parents so they could pay for their son’s brain tumour treatment – until the NHS offered to fund his therapy.

That money is now being used by the charity to aid other youngsters with life-threatening illnesses – including nine-year-old Liam Vollrath who has travelled to the ProCure Proton Therapy Centre in Oklahoma for treatment against a type of cancerous brain tumour.

Mike Hyman, chief executive of Kids ‘n’ Cancer, said: “After the NHS announced that they were to pay for Ashya’s treatment, we proposed that any surplus funds raised through the charity would be used to assist other sick children who need potentially life-saving proton therapy treatment for cancer.

“Many of our supporters stated that they would like to see this happen so the money was added to the charity’s existing funds to be used for children in a similar situation.

“It is thanks to this generosity and the public’s support that we have been able to provide financial support to Liam and his family – and ensure that they were able to fly to the US within a week of them making contact with us.”

Liam’s mother Sandra Vollrath, of Berkshire, said: “We are eternally grateful to Kids ‘n’ Cancer for stepping in like this.”

As reported by the Derbyshire Times in October, Ashya’s brother blasted Kids ‘n’ for not giving the family any money – but Mr Hyman insisted they were willing to help before the NHS stepped in.

At the time, Mr Hyman said: “Kids ‘n’ Cancer has helped many families over the years and will continue to do so.

“There are many families who do not get the sort of donations that the Kings have had.”

Kids ‘n’ Cancer was formed four years ago and is based at the Tapton Innovation Centre in Chesterfield.

To date, the charity has helped more than 70 families financially to access proton therapy in both Oklahoma City and Florida.

The Charity Commission is continuing to probe Kids ‘n’ Cancer about exactly how it is using the £50,000.

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said: “Trustees from Kids ‘n’ Cancer have responded to our request for information through their legal advisor.

“We will continue to work with the charity to ensure that funds are treated in accordance with the legal framework relating to these situations.

“We have issued the trustees with initial advice and guidance about how they may or may not be able to take matters forward.

“We also understand that any donors who have requested their donations be refunded have received them back.”

Mr Hyman said he would be “open and transparent” with the Charity Commission.

For more information about Kids ‘n’ Cancer, visit www.kidsncancer.org.uk