Campaign to raise funds for life-saving treatment for young musician battling bone cancer
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The mother of a talented young musician battling cancer has made an impassioned plea for people to help her raise £200,000 to pay for life-saving treatment for her son.
Billy Clayton, a 21-year-old rising music star from the Oak Street area of Norwich, has been fighting the agressive bone cancer Ewings Sarcoma since 2015 and he is now in desperate need of treatment that is not available in the UK.
The former City of Norwich School pupil has already endured a huge amount of chemotherapy and radiotherapy as well as major surgery, but at the last meeting with his consultant he was told the tumours in his lungs were growing and that two new tumours had developed in right shoulder and left hip.
His mother Becky Lawrence, a 46-year-old nurse, believes cutting edge targeted chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment could help Billy but it is currently only available abroad.
She is now campaigning to raise £200,000 so she can take Billy to the Hallwang Clinic in Germany - and in just five days more than 900 people have answered her call and so far helped to raise more than £18,000.
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Among those throwing their support behind the campaign are Billy's fellow musicians including Let's Eat Grandma, Charli XCX and Dua Lipa.
'I am overwhelmed at the kindness both of friends and also the kindness of strangers. It is amazing,' said Becky.
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'Billy needs this treatment urgently. The sooner that we can get Billy there, the better the chance we have of this treatment working.
'Billy is an incredible person who has managed to continue to create music and art despite going through all of this and he is still focussing on that future, and he is talented enough to achieve it.'
Despite continuing to endure gruelling treatment, Billy has recently finished an artist development course at Access Creative College in Norwich and also performed on the Access Creative Stage at the Latitude festival last month.
'He's been making headway, getting the attention of a lot of well known artists like Charli XCX because of his music,' Becky said.
'He has this future out there for the taking but we have to help him get there, and that starts with getting him the treatment in Germany for this disease because it will give him the best chance.
'Billy will succeed if he is physically fit and when he's got that platform he will be able to use his music to help others.'
Becky added: 'He has got everything live for. He has got gold dust on one side with his music but he has this disease on the other.
'He has been through hell but music has given him the ability to focus and carry on and I want him to be able to live his dream.'
• To donate funds to the campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/life-saving-treatment-for-billy
• The Big Save Billy Family Funday Fundraiser, followed by a party after dark, will take place on Saturday, August 11 from 2pm at Millers Lane Bar and Function Room.