Edinburgh boy Rudi Abbott lands in America for medical trial to treat aggressive brain tumour

A schoolboy from Edinburgh who has an aggressive brain tumour has flown out to America to take part in a medical trial which his family hopes will save his life.

Following months of chemotherapy in the UK, eight-year-old Rudi Abbot is now settling in Seattle, Washington, for the first of many visits to receive the experimental cancer treatment.

Since his first hospital visit to Seattle Sick Kids Hospital this month, Rudi has successfully undergone apheresis – a technology used to remove diseased elements from the blood.

The youngster was diagnosed with a grade four brain tumour, known as pineoblastoma, in the centre of his brain in August 2020.

Rudi Abbot after his first operation in Seattle

Since then he has undergone gruelling treatment, extensive and extremely complex brain surgeries and even travelled to Germany for six weeks of proton therapy.

Last February, doctors found that the young Hearts fan’s cancer had spread and broke the news to his family that the treatment available in the UK had reached its limit.

The family then launched a fundraiser and asked their community to help raise money to send Rudi to America.

After six months, The Azaylia Foundation – which was created in tribute to eight-month-old Azaylia Cain who died of a rare cancer in 2021, backed his cause and donated £10,000. Azaylia’s dad Ashley also ran a marathon to help raise funds for Rudi.

Ashley Cain greeted Rudi after completing a marathon to raise funds for the youngster's treatment in the US

In response to Ashley’s efforts, Rudi’s dad Ben said: “He’s an absolute legend and a warrior for kids with cancer. I would have joined him on the marathon, but I have got to deal with the task in hand.”

Whilst the family have tirelessly raised substantial funds for Rudi, Ben said they had to keep going.

“We need to keep fundraising as there is no end point, as long as the treatment is working then the monthly costs to get to Seattle are not insignificant,” he said.

Rudi will return home to Edinburgh before going back to Seattle in October to start harvesting cells.

And his loved ones now are on a mission to keep him safe and well for the nine weeks leading up to the treatment.

Ben said: “Recovery is a lifelong thing, he just wants to feel like himself again”. He added that focusing on Rudi’s recovery had become like ‘tunnel vision’.

“He’s the sweetest soul and just cares so much for other humans. He sets the moods for everyone around him and makes it dead easy to push on and on. He is a real one off,” said Ben.